Chicago Publication Threatens to Out Five Closeted Alderman
Chicago Dispatcher, a monthly trade publication for the taxi industry, is threatening to out five allegedly closeted gay and lesbian aldermen unless they support the industry’s agenda.
In an editorial published online March 6 titled “Five Secretly Gay Aldermen,” publisher George Lutfallah threatened to disclose the allegedly gay aldermen’s names in next month’s edition unless the city either bans commercial ride-sharing or subjects ride-share drivers to the same regulations that taxi drivers must follow.
Chicago Dispatcher is a monthly newspaper in Chicago, Illinois that focuses on news and features that affect taxi drivers and the taxi industry as a whole. Chicago Dispatcher was founded in February 2002 and is published by Chicago entrepreneur George Lutfallah.
And there is this:
Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov condemned Lutfallah in a statement.
However this article was intended, it is no joking matter. We call on the publication to immediately retract its extremely offensive article and apologize to the city’s LGBT community, women drivers and customers, the City Council and the public at large. Such comments strike at the core of communities that are still fighting for full recognition and equality.
If the publication thought such a commentary would further the cause in the taxi drivers’ ongoing dispute with the city, it will surely backfire. No one likes to be threatened or ridiculed, whether individually or as an institution, and with its commentary this publication surely has injected more cynicism and distrust instead of raising awareness about their concerns. Such comments as were contained in the article are simply not funny and are not to be excused.
The threat suggests there is something shameful about being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender public official, when in this day and age there are out government leaders at every level of service, including the Chicago City Council. And as much as we believe in being open, we respect the right of all individuals who are not hypocritical in their public service to define their sexuality on their own terms.