GOP congressional candidate says Autism, Dementia are God’s punishment for abortion & same-sex marriage
CHICAGO – A Republican candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois' 9th Congressional district told a local newspaper that autism and dementia are punishments from God, who is angry over abortion and same-sex marriage.
Susanne Atanus, who is primed to face fellow Republican David Earl Williams, III, for the Republican nomination in the campaign against incumbent Democratic Congressman Jan Schakowsky, told the Daily Herald,
"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.
"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."
She also told the paper that she thought that "abortions should not be used for birth control.”
Her opponent,said AIDS is spread by unsafe sex between any couple, not just gay couples adding that he doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but he thinks the government should stay out of it.
"I've served with people who were gay during, 'Don't ask, don't tell' and you aren't worrying about if someone is gay or not, you're worrying about if you're going to live the next day," Williams said.
He also told the paper he's pro-life, but he believes a woman's health issues is between a her and her doctor.
Atanus, 55, has run for this congressional seat previously — she lost the 2010 GOP primary and in 2012 was taken off the ballot because she didn't have enough valid signatures.
GOP lawmakers propose bills to repeal marriage equality in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – A set of Republican lawmakers have proposed separate bills to repeal or amend Illinois’ marriage equality law which is set to take effect June 2014. Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) , who is running for reelection this year, is seeking to repeal the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed by the Illinois legislature last November and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.
"Having lost the war, opponents to the freedom to marry now want to refight the battles and turn back the march of history and the progress of the state of Illinois," said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, an LGBTQ Equality Rights Group.
A Democratic Senatorial colleague noted that “McCarter’s proposal to repeal the law may be more about appealing to his conservative constituents than an actual attempt to end marriage equality in the state,” said Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) who added, “He [McCarter] knows it’s not going to go anywhere. He’s just doing this to show his constituents.”
McCarter is not the only Illinois lawmaker set to undo the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Another measure submitted by state Rep. Josh Harms (R-Watseka) wants to expand on the exemptions already included in the new marriage law that protect religious institutions and members of the clergy from being forced to perform or recognize same-sex marriages. Harms is also running for reelection.
“This is just politics,” said Civil Rights Agenda executive director Anthony Martinez. “It’s an election year in Illinois and whenever that happens there’s always legislators who introduce legislation that will really go nowhere, but appeals to their base and I think that’s exactly what he’s done here.”
"While we do not expect either measure to gain any traction in the legislature, these bills demonstrate that marriage opponents are not giving up and they're not closing up shop in Illinois," Cherkasov said. "And we will not allow candidates to use the LGBT community and our allies as punching bags in an election year."