Our Problem with Meeks

The Stridently Anti-Gay James Meeks


 Reverend Meeks preached to his congregation that homosexuality an “evil sickness.”2

March 2003: Black Illinois LGBT groups formed a protest at his office over his refusal to meet with them to discuss human rights legislation. Meeks insisted the bill would “lead to gay marriage.3

May 2003: Meeks is interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times: “Senator Meeks…has said that the bible says that gays should not marry or have sex. He has spoken about not wanting sissies in his church and that the women of his church should protect their men from the sissies.” 4

 Jan 2005:  During the critical moments when the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill to prevent LGBT discrimination, Meeks actively campaigned against the measure – and then delivered his vote: Nay. Obama was apparently unable, unwilling or uninterested in lobbying Meeks to do otherwise – even to vote “present” on the measure. The bill would have failed had it received one less vote.5The Windy City Times describes Meeks’ behavior leading up to the vote:

“We knew he would vote against it. We were angry about it, but we knew.” However, McHale admitted that Meeks acted a bit strangely in the time leading up to the vote. “He was a bit bizarre during this whole episode. He would walk up to Rick [ Garcia, Equality Illinois’s political director ] , give him a big hug and a kiss, and then run around the Capitol, saying that passing the bill would lead to gay marriage. Sen. Meeks was definitely exhibiting some bipolar behavior.”

March 2006: In a televised Sunday morning sermon, Meeks is alleged to have complained in a televised sermon about “Hollywood Jews for bringing us Brokeback Mountain.” 6

May 2006: When Meeks ran as an Independent for governor of Illinois, he announced: “Come on with me, white churches. Call me and tell me to run for governor. You’ll have [Republican nominee], who believes in abortion and gay rights and [Democratic Gov.], who believes in abortion and gay rights. Theologically, politically, for the white conservative voter, I’m their guy. I have their philosophy. 7”

October 2006: Meeks’ church sponsored a “Halloween fright night” which “consigned to the flames of hell two mincing young men wearing body glitter who were supposed to be homosexuals.”8

February 2007:  A newsletter by the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER (SPLC) included Meeks in its “Top Ten leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement.” According to their profile:9

“Last year, he ran for governor as a virtual single-issue candidate, drawing national support from Christian fundamentalists by boldly vowing to fight marriage equality at every turn.”

Despite his virulent anti-gay stance, in June 2002, Meeks invited accused sex offender R. Kelly to sing at his church’s kindergarten shortly after the singer was released on bond for child pornography.10



1 www.suntimes.com/news/metro/rezko/353782,CST-NWS-rezpols23.stng
2 www.wctimes.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=16472 
3 www.thecapitolfaxblog.com/wp-mobile.php?p=1399&more=1
4 www.wctimes.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=7141
5 www.suntimes.com/output/washington/cst-edt-laura12.html 
6 Obama’s Friends Are Hardly Admirable, C. Hitchens, Sun-Times 04/12/08
8 www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/religion/117630,CST-NWS-HELL31.article
9 www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=410
10 Tarnished R. Kelly Needs Prayers, Mary Mitchell, Sun-Times 06/11/02


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