Even though the Gay Liberation Network finds the "apology" of Francis George woefully inadequate, we nevertheless agree to call off the protest scheduled for January 8 (tomorrow, Sunday) at Holy Name Cathedral. While taking this action, we highlight our sharp disagreement with some LGBT groups which previously backed the protest and now bubble over with undeserved praise for Cardinal George.
Francis George said in his "apology" that he never meant to smear "all gays and lesbians" with the KKK analogy. So, by implication, and by earlier statements, we take it that George did intend to liken some gays to the Klan, particularly some gay activists. In fact, his original Klan remark was directed at something he vaguely called the "gay liberation movement." This sounds like a specific reference to our organization, the Gay Liberation Network, which he has previously singled out for attack when we have had the audacity to picket the Church hierarchy, including himself, in front of Holy Name Cathedral (George's charges against us for being "anti-Catholic" have always been disingenuous and incendiary because he knows very well: Our disagreement is with him and other church leaders, not with the Catholic laity which, in poll after poll, backs equal rights for gays and lesbians).
In his apology, George claimed further that his KKK analogy was "motivated by fear for the church's liberty." This, too, is completely disingenuous. No one was challenging the church's "liberty," unless by this George means something like the right of the Catholic Church hierarchy to be free from frank and open criticism for its advocacy of discrimination against women and gays.
Finally, and most importantly---and missed by those individuals and groups who are now heaping undeserved praise on the Cardinal -- Francis George's "apology" contained not a word about the church leadership's long-standing and aggressive opposition to all equal rights legislation for LGBT people, nationally and in the state of Illinois.
George's anti-gay animus did not begin by his comparison of gay activists to the KKK. When the Catholic Church leadership, including George, ceases doing everything it can to oppose our equal participation in society, then we can accept an apology from that leadership.
While canceling the January 8 protest, we are redoubling our efforts to secure participation in the Freedom to Marry Day demonstration scheduled for Sunday, February 12 at 10:30 AM in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street, Chicago.