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Equality Illinois calls on Rauner to return DeVos contributions
by Matt Simonette
2014-07-11

This article shared 4493 times since Fri Jul 11, 2014
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Equality Illinois has called on GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to return $13,000 in contributions made last week by the DeVos family who are prominent contributors to many conservative causes. Among their past contributions was a $500,000 pledge to the National Organization for Marriage.

Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, told Chicago Sun-Times that, "What we see Rauner trying to do, unlike Bill Brady and unlike some of the other former candidates from the Republican party who were proud of their conservative beliefs … is trying to have it both ways. When he is in Chicago, he is trying to impersonate a moderate. But when he's speaking to what he believes to be private, closed circles to his party, he says something else."

Equality Illinois and other activists and politicians have blasted Rauner for saying that he would have vetoed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act and put the gay marriage issue up for public referendum had he been governor. In June, a large banner calling attention to Rauner's stance was mounted at the corner of Roscoe and Halsted Streets.

Cherkasov said of Rauner's DeVos contribution, "If he wants to run as a moderate candidate, then he should distance himself from their money and their contributions."

Members of the DeVos family, whose patriarch, Richard DeVos, Sr., was co-founder of the Amway distribution company, are involved with a number of right-wing and conservative Christian causes, especially in their home state of Michigan. The senior DeVos is also owner of the Orlando Magic NBA team.

In 2010, DeVos told Grand Rapids Press that he had been repeatedly "hung in effigy" by the gay community because he was "not sympathetic to their requests for treatment" when he was on an AIDS advisory commision in the 1980s.

"I understand who you are," DeVos said about the gay community in the interview. "I accept who you are. Live your life. I will respect you. But don't keep asking for favors. Don't ask for concessions on the marriage issue, which is not vital to them in my opinion. They've made it a vital issue because they want to."

Chicago Sun-Times article is at: http://bit.ly/VTSwRr

DeVos 2010 interview is at: bit.ly/1r3Jj6f .


This article shared 4493 times since Fri Jul 11, 2014
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