Susanne Atanus is interviewed in Arlington Heights, Ill. Jan. 20. 2014.
Bob Chwedyk/AP

GOP candidate who blamed tornadoes on gay rights wins nomination


The Republican congressional candidate who blamed tornadoes on gay rights is one step closer to a seat in Congress.

Susanne Atanus won the GOP nomination for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District this week and is set to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Jan Schakowsky this fall. As The Huffington Post reported, Atanus made national headlines earlier this year for controversial remarks she made during an endorsement session with the Daily Herald, in which she blamed homosexuality for everything from military decline to autism to the recent cold snap. 

“God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” Atanus said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

Atanus clarified her comments to the Windy City Times the following week, saying, “Everybody knows that God controls weather.” She added that a series of tornado warnings and the extreme cold plaguing Chicago was God’s response to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois.

The Windy City Times noted that Atanus did seek support for her campaign from the LGBT community and that she did back medical partner benefits for same-sex couples.