Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Letters to the editor: Smithers; Not the villains
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
2013-06-25

This article shared 2353 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Don't be a Smithers

Has anyone else noticed the striking resemblance between Cardinal George and Mr. Burns? The physical resemblance is uncanny: the nose, the posture and even that voice. Physical resemblance aside, the abuse of his position of power is also akin to that of Mr. Burns. For those who are not familiar with The Simpsons, the longest-running sitcom and animated TV show of all time, Mr. Burns owns and operates the municipal power plant that employs the majority of Springfield's residents thereby controlling the social and cultural tenor of the the town (diocese).

Over the years, only a few residents of Springfield have challenged his power, most notably the two strong minded, intelligent, free-thinking characters of the show: Marge and Lisa Simpson.

Recently, Ms. Brenna Cronin did what Lisa Simpson would have done when she thoughtfully and lovingly gave Mr. Joe Murray the gift of communion that Cardinal George denied him. Mr. Murray had non-verbally expressed his discontent with the church's position on marriage equality by turning his back on the Cardinal during mass. Interestingly, it's often women who listen to their hearts as well as their heads and follow through to "do the right thing."

I'm reminded of my aunt, Sister Kathleen Neely, whom I recently visited in South Amerca. Sister Kathleen has spent more than 40 years serving the impoverished people in the mountains of northern Peru. At 67, she is tirelessly working to aid the physically and mentally challenged of this area of the world in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.

While I was there I learned that the ultraconservative Opus Dei sect of the Catholic Church has gained political strength within some areas of South America. In certain areas of Brazil priests are denying parishioners the host—as Cardinal George has done—if they have not confessed their sins immediately beforehand. Without doing so parishioners are not pure enough to receive the body of Christ. Excuse me for saying so, but using the host to reward preferred behavior demeans the sacrament as if the host were a dog biscuit. "Good dog, good dog ... now here's your treat." And, conversely, bad dogs don't get a treat. As a lifelong Catholic, I have always considered the ritual of Communion to be a much deeper representation of God's love and compassion.

The church, like most powerful organizations will tighten their rules when those rules are being challenged, especially when they think there will be no backlash or fall-out.

For most Catholics, the church represents an extension of one's family. As a modern Chicago Catholic, I believe one has the personal responsibility to stand one's ground at family gatherings. Don't allow your siblings or parents to bully you. As an adult you can honor and respect your parents without being their "mini-me." Use your free will. It's a gift from God. You are loved as an equal by God. Don't be a Smithers; be a Marge or a Lisa. Be a whole and honest person in the eyes of God.

Tom Mattingly

Chicago

Not the villains

Kate Sosin's otherwise thoughtful analysis ("In the details: The marriage bill's past and future" in the June 19 issue of Windy City Times) of the failure of Senate Bill 10—extending the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples—to get a vote in the Illinois House during the spring legislative session incorrectly identifies Rep. Rita Mayfield and members of the Black Caucus as villains in the bill's lack of movement. This assertion is like the inaccurate assessment of the failure of Proposition 8 ballot initiative in California, where African-American voters were faulted. Let's be clear—the Black Caucus members are not responsible for the failure of the House to pass the marriage bill.

It is true that some Black Caucus members supported the bill; others opposed the measure; and, still others remain publicly undeclared in terms of their support. That makes the Black Caucus members just like members of all the other Caucuses in the Illinois House. The House GOP Caucus, to choose just one such group, had only two (2) supportive members, a number publicly opposed and others who are undecided. (This stands in stark contrast to other states such as New York, where significant number of GOP members voted for a marriage bill.)

The attack on Mayfield is particularly egregious. Citing unnamed sources, the article claims that she was actively working to pull votes off the bill, and that she is anti-gay; there simply is no evidence that this is true, as others in the story attest. Mayfield and the Black Caucus are not monolithic in their views on marriage equality, as pointed out above. We can win more support among them but only by respecting their diversity of views. Blaming them for the stalled effort or personally maligning their character might have the opposite effect. But the damage is done—enemies of freedom and equality can point to these unsourced claims as evidence of division between African-American leaders and those in the LGBT community.

To be clear, no such division exists. In this session alone, African-American legislators sponsored legislation or provided crucial votes and public leadership on many issues critical to the LBGT community—including the expansion of Medicaid coverage, comprehensive sexual health education, the restoration of funds to fight and treat HIV, and the repeal of the antiquated HIV-positive student notification law.

All of us are disappointed that the marriage bill did not pass the House. We hoped, like thousands across the state, to mark part of this year celebrating the marriages of our friends, our family members, our colleagues and, for some of us, ourselves. Our opponents hope that we spend the next several months blaming particular groups and individuals for the bill's failure—groups including the Black Caucus.

Rather than engage in this fallacious debate, we recognize, as the bard tells us, that the fault is in ourselves. So let's get to work, drawing together with supporters from all across the state, to secure passage of the marriage bill. When it passes—and it will—it will enjoy significant support from members from all ethnic backgrounds. That, we can be sure, is the future of the of the marriage bill. Let us also remember that long after the fight for marriage equality is won and over, we will still need the support of these members to advance other LGBT-friendly legislation in the future.

Sincerely,

Adrienne Alexander, Policy & Legislative Specialist, AFSCME Council 31

Khadine Bennett, Staff Attorney & Legislative Counsel, ACLU of Illinois

Mary Dixon, Legislative Director, ACLU of Illinois

Ramon Gardehire, Director of Government Relations, AIDS Foundation of Chicago

Roderick K. Hawkins, Vice President of External Affairs, Chicago Urban League


This article shared 2353 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWS Mike Johnson: The smiling face of Christian tyranny
2024-02-14
Mike Johnson wants to rewrite the constitution to make the United States a Christian nation. James Michael Johnson, Republican from Louisiana's Fourth District, is the 56th speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was ...


Gay News

VIEWS Parents, not legislators, should be making decisions about medical options for children
2024-02-06
By Jeffery M. Leving - No matter the medical issue, when it comes to kids, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said something last December that every lawmaker in the country should realize when it comes to medical decisions for children. "Were House ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz'
2024-01-26
At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...


Gay News

VIEWS Is the Pope Catholic? Francis faces opposition in steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity
2024-01-02
The recent change in Vatican policy allowing priests to bless same-gender couples has provoked an unprecedented backlash against Pope Francis and his openness to LGBTQ+ people—a backlash that some fear might devolve into a schism in ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dial M' director speaks about stage magic and perils of the closet
2023-12-15
A good thriller is always in style for the right audience—but it's paying dividends for Northlight Theatre, which recently opened Dial M for Murder, helmed by queer director Georgette Verdin, to great reviews. ...


Gay News

Bring Chicago Home: Guess who's saying no again
2023-12-04
Commentary by Bob Palmer and Mark Swartz - Chicago is ushering in an era of change with a new progressive mayor with a vision to invest in communities long ignored and a significant increase in like-minded city council members. We are excited to see ...


Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen
2023-11-28
It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...


Gay News

Banning the Banning of Books: Illinois and California lead the way
2023-10-26
In June, at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation banning book bans in Illinois public libraries. This legislation, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, passed the Illinois House and ...


Gay News

OPINION Renewing state's Invest in Kids program is investing in anti-LGBTQ+ hate
2023-10-23
In February 2020, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield warned transgender students in the Diocese's educational system that they "may be expelled from the school" if they live their lives authentically. Lansing Christian School ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Shucked,' Melissa Etheridge, 'Elite,' composer dies, Orville Peck
2023-10-19
The Broadway production Shucked has set a closing date of Jan. 14, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre, Playbill noted. At closing, the Tony-nominated musical will have played 28 previews and 327 regular performances. A North American ...


Gay News

Jann Wenner comments on women and Black musicians, later apologizes
2023-09-18
Openly gay Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner apologized for telling The New York Times that, for his book The Masters, he chose interviews with white male musicians who he called the "philosophers of rock" because ...


Gay News

Gilbert Baker Foundation reacts to death of shop owner who flew the rainbow flag
2023-08-29
--From a press release - In response to the murder of Laura Ann Carleton over flying the Rainbow flag in her shop in California, the Gilbert Baker Foundation released the statement below. Facebook refused to post the statement as it did not "...meet their standards." ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT U.S. higher education under siege; freedom of inquiry and speech at risk
2023-07-03
The Covid pandemic threw a harsh spotlight on higher education in America, exposing forces eating away at the foundations of college and university learning, calling into question the traditional purposes of such education in our post-modern, ...


Gay News

Guest essay by Florida mom Nicole Pejovich: What's Happening to Florida's Public Schools?
2023-06-19
Related video below - A queer Florida parent answers questions about recent laws, how Floridians are coping, and how you can help Books pulled from school library shelves by the dozens. All evidence of inclusivity stripped from classrooms. The politically ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For divorced parents, transgender children's health can present tricky dilemmas
2023-06-12
Over the last few months, issues impacting individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary are getting a lot of attention in the media and among some politicians. Sadly, because it's become a political issue; a lot ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.