CommunityPam's House Blend

Crystal Lake Park District Board's feeling the burn

Looks like the phones must have been ringing off the hook at the Crystal Lake Park District Board (an outlying suburb of Chicago) after its vote not to allow the Gay Games rowing competition on the lake. (Kane County Chronicle):

Park board President Jerry Sullivan, who was on vacation in Mexico when the board denied the group’s proposal with a 2-2 vote, returned Friday. He said he likely would approve the rowing event on the lake as long as logistical concerns were met.

“I think that’s something we’d be able to manage without any real inconvenience,” Sullivan said. “My gut reaction would be that I most likely would be in favor of it.”

Sullivan, along with park Commissioners Candy Reedy and Michael Zellmann, called a special meeting for Tuesday to reconsider the proposal. Reedy and Zellmann voted yes on Thursday. Commissioners Dave Phelps and Scott Breeden voted no.

…The park district office and City Hall were flooded with angry calls and e-mails from around the country Friday in the wake of the vote, which followed more than an hour of public comment.

The legality of the decision also came into question after Phelps said he could not support organizations that seek to advance “a person’s agenda or sexual preference.” Phelps did not return phone calls Friday. An amendment to the state’s Human Rights Act that took effect Jan. 1 bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Fliers by homophobes were plastered around the town intimating the sporting event would encourage “inappropriate and lewd behaviors” at the rowing competition. One resident, Scott Spencer, told the Park Board during the hearing that homosexuality is “contrary and detrimental” to traditional family values and justifying the position by saying “Let me point out what my prejudice is toward: my wife, my children, my grandchildren and the sanctity of the home.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding