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Alderman Mitts Apologizes For Anti-Gay Comments

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's staunchest allies on the City Council was backtracking on some recent controversial comments about gays and lesbians.

Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) – who chairs the Budget Committee and, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago study, votes with Emanuel 97 percent of the time -- apologized Thursday.

"I am sorry.  I never meant any harm. I think that all of us, everybody, can live together," Mitts said, in reference to comments she made at a candidates' forum last weekend. Video of her remarks surfaced this week.

In her earlier remarks, she is heard saying: "I don't want to be biased here, but I don't support the fact that we can have two women married, two men married, and yet we pay our fees, your tax dollars go, and they get just the same benefit as the woman or a man get, and I don't think that that playing field is level."

Audible groans could be heard from the crowd at the forum.

Mitts on Thursday says she "misspoke" at the forum because she lost track of her thoughts.

Tara Stamps, who is facing Mitts in a runoff election in the 37th Ward, said Mitts' comments last weekend were insensitive. She told the Sun-Times she believes "we are all children of God and that we all deserve equal protection of the law."

Stamps demanded Chicago Forward, a super PAC backing Emanuel in the race for mayor, should take back the money it has given to Mitts' campaign.

Emanuel said he's glad Mitts, his council ally, apologized.


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