Susanne Atanus, who believes gay rights cause tornadoes and autism is a punishment from God, wins Illinois primary
Atanus claims 'we are provoking God with abortion and same-sex marriage'
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Thursday 20 March 2014
A congressional candidate in Chicago, who blames natural disasters such as tornados on gay rights and claims autism is a punishment from God, has won the GOP nomination and will challenge Democrat Jan Schakowsky for the 9th Congressional district of the city.
Among her many controversial views, Susanne Atanus is vehemently against access to abortion, marriage equality and the rights of gay men and women.
The 55-year-old has claimed that same-sex marriages “breed aids” and autism and dementia are punishments from God.
During a filmed interview with her opponent David Earl Williams for The Daily Herald in January, Atanus made her views clear with remarks such as: "I am not in favour of abortions, I am not in favour of gay rights."
"God controls the weather. God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she continued. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."
According to unofficial totals, Atanus received 15,238 votes compared with Williams’ 13,864 votes, The Park Ridge Sun Times has reported.
Republicans moved quickly to distance themselves from Atanus following her comments. Illinois Republican Chairman Jack Dorgan called on the candidate to end her congressional campaign, but Atanus refused to withdraw from the GOP primary.
In a statement, he said: “The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican.
“Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”
Adam Robinson, the chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, stressed that Atanus: "is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time."
- 1 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 3 Uber's real-time nearby cars map is fake, data experts claim
- 4 Kim Jong-un awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
- 5 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Nasa discovers yet another rocky exoplanet, and it's only 21 light years away
Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
Kim Jong-un awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Calais crisis: Migrants that have made it to the UK reveal how Britain has matched their expectations
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...