David Earl Williams III and Susanne Atanus (Screenshot via Daily Herald)

The Illinois Republican who called dementia and severe weather "punishments" for marriage equality just won her primary

“Everybody knows that God controls weather,” Susanne Atanus explained. "God is super angry"

Katie McDonough
March 20, 2014 6:20PM (UTC)

An Illinois Republican who called dementia and severe weather punishments from an "angry" God just won her primary. In Chicago. Really.

Susanne Atanus has two unsuccessful runs for her state's 9th congressional district under her belt, but third time was the charm, apparently.


While explaining her platform in January, Atanus told the Chicago Daily Herald that "God is angry" because the United States is "provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions.

"Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS," she continued. "If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

Despite believing that LGBTQ people are responsible for natural disasters and disease, Atanus asked for their votes.


“You can tell the [LGBTQ] community that I called to reach out to them, that I need them, and they need me,” Atanus told Chicago's Windy City Times.

When asked for a comment on equal marriage, Atanus told the Times that the recent spate of bad weather was a result of equal marriage gains. “Everybody knows that God controls weather,” she explained. "God is super angry."

“Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn’t look right, and it breeds AIDS,” she added.


The Chicago Republican Party has distanced itself from Atanus in the past, claiming that she is not "in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP" and that the organization has never "supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time." But now she is their nominee for the 9th district, so she's in the political mix with them whether they like it or not.

Democratic Rep. Janice Schakowsky has been representing the district since 1999, winning each election with an average of 70 percent of the votes. Given that history, it's likely that the GOP doesn't invest time or resources in finding a challenger, but the fact that Atanus' particular brand of wingnut could still win over primary voters is still really something.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Chicago Gop Homophobia Illinois Republican Wingnuts Republicans Wingnuts

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