Suburban School Board Asks Member To Quit Over Gay Comments

(CBS) — The Warren Township school board in far north Suburban Gurnee is asking one of its board members to step down for voicing concern about hiring someone who is gay or lesbian as the district’s next superintendent, reports WBBM’s Bob Roberts.

In an 18-minute resolution that called her a bigot who has poisoned the air, potentially driven away well-qualified candidates, and has consistently shown up unprepared for meetings, the Warren Township board asked Liz Biondi to either quit or be removed by the Lake County Regional School Superintendent who might have the power to do so.

Biondi apologized after publicly suggesting a gay superintendent might have to deal with more personal issues than school issues.

“I have very good friends who are gay or lesbian, and I’m concerned that if we hired someone that we were not aware of that background, that they may be fighting more personal fires than superintendent fires,” she said at last week’s board meeting.

Her comments came as the board was discussing qualities they want to see in a successor to Supt. Mary Perry Bates, who is retiring. Biondi did not mention anyone in particular, and said she had no personal objection to hiring a homosexual superintendent.

“I would have no problem with it, but I know that members of our community would, and that’s why I bring it up,” she said.

16 members of the public spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting, and all agreed, including Warren senior Adam Curry.

“The students don’t want her uninclusive opinions affecting the choices the board makes for our school and for our students,” Curry said.

Biondi stayed away from the meeting. Some interpreted that as a measure of disrespect.

State law prohibits discriminating against anyone in employment matters, on the basis of sexual orientation.

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