One longtime leader in the gay community, Rick Garcia, shunned gay leaders who apologized for Mitts, calling them “collaborators” and sellouts who were beholden to Emanuel.
Meanwhile, a newly elected alderman who is gay called on the pro-Emanuel super PAC, Chicago Forward, to review its endorsement process, sending the committee’s chair a letter on Thursday.
The furor comes one day after the Chicago Sun-Times reportedcomments that Mitts made about marriage equality.
“It is an outrage that so-called gay organizations are mum and so-called gay leaders and elected officials are silent. And you know what? We get exactly what we deserve sometimes,” said a fuming Garcia, a gay-rights activist in Chicago for 25 years. “These gay people who are loathe to criticize her are what I call collaborators. What Ald. Mitts said is unacceptable. She should be called out for it.”
Garcia criticized gay aldermen – including Ald. Tom Tunney — who defended Mitts or remained silent on the issue.
“All of them are beholden to Rahm Emanuel,” Garcia charged. “They will sell this community out in a heartbeat for the mayor.”
Earlier this week, Tunney issued a statement accepting Mitts’ apology and forgiving and supporting his colleague.
On Thursday, Tunney responded to Garcia’s “sellout” charge with a terse text message to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“No further comment,” he wrote.
One day after apologizing for remarks she now acknowledges were insensitive and hurtful to the gay community, Mitts declared her “complete support” for same-sex marriage.
“I knew I made a mistake and I have apologized for it. I regret the statement that I made about the LGBT community. I support LGBT equality and I support marriage equality,” Mitts said.
“I recognize the statement I made was insensitive. I am deeply sorry for that. I have friends and family members who are part of the LGBT community. They should have the same rights as everyone else in society. I will continue to protect those rights as a lawmaker. I have sponsored resolutions in the City Council to help the LGBT community in athletics and banning racial profiling.”
Mitts said as soon as the videotape of her remarks was made public, she called her three openly gay colleagues on the City Council to apologize to them, adding, “They understood.”
She has not yet spoken with Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the embarrassment she may have caused the mayor, but, “I’m publicly apologizing to everyone, including him.”
As for the $43,853 in support from the pro-Emanuel super PAC used to provide direct-mail, robocalls and advertising for her re-election campaign, Mitts said, “I’m grateful to Chicago Forward. They haven’t asked me to pay them back.”
Becky Carroll, the longtime mayoral ally now serving as CEO of Chicago Forward, had no immediate comment Thursday.