CHICAGO (AP) — The five Republicans on the county board withdrew their names from a routine proclamation welcoming the 2006 Gay Games to Chicago.
The Illinois Family Institute is urging Democratic commissioners to do the same.
“There’s a big difference between tolerating and celebrating homosexuality,” said Peter LaBarbera, the institute’s executive director. “For governments to be using taxpayer money and big corporations spending money to sponsor this, we think the average Joe sees that as being just a little bit off.”
The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the ceremonial proclamation without opposition last month as one of a group of routine measures. “I must have been out of the room” when the proclamation came up, said Tony Peraica, one of the five Republicans on the 17-commissioner board.
Organizers say the games, set for July 2006, could pump $50 million to $80 million into Chicago’s economy.
Commissioner Mike Quigley, who sponsored the proclamation, plans to play hockey in the games and said the Republicans’ move stemmed from “blinding bias and animosity.”