Chicago alderwoman criticizes same-sex marriage, then apologizes

An African-American alderwoman in Chicago is under fire for negative remarks about same-sex marriage she made during a community forum March 25.

I include her race because there is a homophobia problem in the African-American community. More on that after you read this excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article about the remarks:

West Side Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) apologized Wednesday for making an anti-gay remark captured on video as her opponent called on the pro-Mayor Rahm Emanuel super PAC to rescind the nearly $50,000 in support it has given Mitts.

The remarks, which Mitts’ opponent, Tara Stamps, referred to as “prejudice” “fear-mongering” and “backwards thinking,” came at a Saturday forum in which Mitts’ comments complaining about rights for same-sex couples brought audible groans from the live audience.

“I don’t support the fact that we can have two women married, two men married and we pay our fees and your tax dollars go. And they can get the same benefit as the woman or a man get. And I don’t think that that playing field is level,” Mitts says on the video.

Parts of that barely make sense. What fees and tax dollars go to support same-sex marriage? If they can get “the same benefit as the woman or man get,” isn’t that the essence of equality? What woman or man are we talking about? What playing field? And how is that field not level?

Ald. Emma Mitts

Ald. Emma Mitts

Mitts has backpedaled mightily, according to the Trib article:

“I do apologize if it came out that way. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. If it came out wrong, absolutely I would apologize. I don’t mean to be rude. I don’t want it to hurt me or anyone else,” Mitts said.

“I’m dealing with something I’m not familiar with. We were brought up not being in favor. I’m learning and being [educated] about relationships I didn’t know anything about. I have to understand that these are human beings. I have to state how I feel, but as a legislator and a lawmaker, I’m upholding and supporting what the law is.”

As the Trib reporter notes, Mitts is a strong supporter of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who enjoys broad support in the LGBT community, including the cheers and applause he receives along the Pride parade route.

That leaves us with three possibilities as to the true meaning of Mitts’ public apology:

  1. While she may be homophobic on some level, she is sincerely regretful and contrite about her remarks.
  2. She is one of Emanuel’s supporters on the Board of Aldermen and receives contributions from his PAC. Rahm does not suffer gladly people on his team who go off-message on so important a topic. This leaves the possibility that the Mayor or someone on the Mayor’s staff made it clear to her that she had to apologize or she faced being frozen out. She complied.
  3. She is homophobic and believes what she said, but realized the backlash was too great so she apologized — but doesn’t really mean it.

I vote for number two, but have no secret knowledge to that effect. It just makes the most sense because I doubt that any person in her position who would say such things publicly unless she believes it in some way, but she is astute enough to know you do not piss off Mayor Emanuel.

I brought up her race because someone who represents one of the most impoverished wards in Chicago has a standing in the black community that makes her a leader on these issues. To have someone like Mitts basically admit that she thinks that, not only is same-sex marriage a bad thing, it also has economic repercussions because LGBT people are somehow getting more than their share — of what I cannot discern from her remarks — adds a ridiculous dimension to homophobia.

The only good part of this is that the audience reportedly groaned when she said it.

Starwood Special Offers

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Uploads by TravelChannelVOD

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

NYT > Travel

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Everything Everywhere Travel Blog

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Elliott

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Intelligent Travel

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

ThinkGeek - What's New

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Engadget RSS Feed

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

ReadWrite

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

WIRED

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Mashable

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

TechCrunch

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Gizmodo

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Lifehacker

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Ars Technica

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Boing Boing

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

The Nation: Editors Picks

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Southern Poverty Law Center - Latest News

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Hatewatch

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." - Oscar Wilde

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,059 other followers

%d bloggers like this: