Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



LGBTs question Catholic Charities deal with city on homeless outreach
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The city is outsourcing some of its homeless services to Chicago Catholic Charities, a move raising eyebrows among some LGBT people who see the organization as anti-gay.

Mayor Emanuel announced the move, intended to cut down on youth homelessness, in an Aug. 23 press conference.

"If you can cut somebody off at a younger age who's homeless, get them the jobs and get them the education, they won't be an adult statistic," Emanuel said.

According to the mayor, the deal will save the city $1.7 million, to be funneled back into homeless services. The result, he said, will be a 40 percent increase in the number of shelter beds.

Catholic Charities will take over the city's program that offers late-night rides to homeless shelters, operating 12 vehicles and employing 50 workers.

But many LGBT people questioned the move, as Catholic Charities in Illinois and the Archdiocese of Chicago have taken high-profile stances against LGBT rights in recent years.

"It just raises a lot of red flags in my mind," said Joe Murray, executive director of Rainbow Sash Movement, an LGBT Catholic organization. "Catholic charities, one, does not recognize us [LGBT people] and two, believes we are morally disordered."

Chicago Catholic Charities is an arm of the Archdiocese of Chicago, headed by Cardinal Francis George, who sparked outrage last winter when he compared the Pride Parade to a Ku Klux Klan gathering.

Responding to a Lakeview church's request to alter the Pride Parade plans to allow parishioners to attend Sunday mass, the Cardinal repeatedly stated that parade was at risk of turning into a KKK gathering.

"You don't want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism," he told Fox News Chicago.

George later apologized for the remarks.

But Illinois Catholic Charities have also come under fire in recent years for other anti-gay stances. Last year, a group of Illinois Catholic Charities refused to place foster children in same-sex households after civil unions went into effect. The state pulled the charities' contract over the refusal, and the charities unsuccessfully sued to keep the contract while turning away LGBT parents.

Chicago Catholic Charities was not a party in the suit, but George oversees all of the state's six dioceses.

"Catholic Charities are the same in every diocese no matter where you're at," explained Chris Pett, president of LGBT Catholic organization Dignity/Chicago. "Now the city will layoff workers and shift the service to an organization that is known to be anti-gay."

Ed Flavin, a spokesperson for Chicago Catholic Charities confirmed that the organization's stance on LGBT parents is the same as the other charities, but he said there was no connection between the foster care dispute and homeless services.

"We've never discriminated against anyone, period," Flavin said.

Flavin noted that he personally "is a major advocate of assisting that community."

According to Matt Smith, a spokesperson for Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), all agencies contracting with DFSS are contractually required to follow federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws and policies.

In addition, Smith said, Catholic Charities provided the city with its own anti-discrimination policy.

"Catholic Charities maintains a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, marital status, age, gender including pregnancy, sexual orientation, status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local laws in all matters relating to employment with the Agency, including hiring, training, promotion, demotion, transfer, recruitment, help wanted advertising, layoff, termination, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment," the statement reads.

Finally, the newly released "Plan to End Homeless, 2.0" includes recommendations on better serving LGBT people, said Smith.

That inclusion comes in the form of a mention of LGBTQ people among "special populations" that also include families, youth, victims of domestic violence, seniors, people who have been convicted of a crime, persons with a disability, people who are chronically homeless, people with HIV/AIDS, undocumented people and people with limited English proficiency.

One openly gay person who supports the deal is Jim LoBianco, who headed up homeless services under Mayor Daley and currently serves as executive director of Streetwise.

LoBianco contends that because "human service worker" is one of the lowest titles in Chicago government, homeless services had become a dumping ground for demoted employees who were trained in other careers.

"They never wanted to work with the homeless," he said, adding he felt the way some workers treated clients was unacceptable.

LoBianco pointed out that Catholic Charities has received city contracts for decades. During his time heading homeless services, he said, LGBT-specific complaints were filed with the city, but Catholic Charities never received a complaint.

"There are not a lot of agencies committed to doing this work, and of those, Catholic Charities is the best," LoBianco said.

Openly gay Ald. James Cappleman expressed similar feelings.

Cappleman is a longtime member of Dignity/Chicago and a former social worker. Overall, he said, he was not concerned about the deal. He never witnessed homophobia from Catholic Charities when he was doing social work.

Asked if he worried about the image of the city contracting with Catholic Charities, he said, "I'm mostly focused on making sure that people are who experience homelessness are getting the best possible care."

Contributed reporting: Bill Healy

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Catholic priests, lay persons call for LGBT, women's rights 2016-10-23 - It was the unlikeliest of press conferences and a sign of times that are changing with unprecedented momentum even from within one of ...

Gay News

Uptown residents stage counter-demonstration to Westboro anti-trans protest 2016-10-21 - About 50 Uptown residents and other community members staged a counter-protest the morning of Oct. 21 when members of Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist ...

Gay News

BOOKS The Transgender Teen: Opening the family dialogue on gender 2016-10-12 - "We think about gender all day and every day, though we might not be aware of it," said Lisa Kenney, co-author of The ...

Gay News

Evanston synagogue welcomes its first female and lesbian rabbi 2016-10-04 - Evanston native Rabbi Rachel Weiss comes to Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation ( JRC ) as the synagogue's first female and first openly gay rabbi. ...

Gay News

From This Day Forward, explores family with transgender dad, Oct. 10 2016-09-22 - A unique—and traditional—love story shows how a Midwestern family adapted to a life-altering transformation. What's it like to have a transgender parent—or ...

Gay News

LGBT ministry thanks Kaine for hopeful words on Catholic church, same-sex marriage 2016-09-12 - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—New Ways Ministry thanks Vice Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine for speaking with hope about the Catholic Church's eventual ...

Gay News

Open To Thinking: Gays and Justice in the Catholic Church 2016-09-07 - Why do so many gay people remain loyal to the Catholic Church? A dear friend of mine who is a Catholic priest ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN Family Equality ED sees families helping families 2016-09-07 - Everyone's first week on the job should be like Stan Sloan's. The new executive director of Family Equality Council, the national organization for ...

Gay News

World news: Grunt site for trans men, out bishop, South Africa's HIV treatment 2016-09-06 - In Australia, a website called Grunt is focused on trans men who have sex with cisgender men, LGBTQ Nation reported. They're the target ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Kathy Garver makes it a 'Family Affair' 2016-09-06 - Kathy Garver will always be remembered as Cissy on television's A Family Affair. The show celebrates its 50th anniversary on Monday, Sept. 12. ...


Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by