Disgusted by the months-long Soviet-style engineering that put Todd Stroger on the November ballot for Cook County Board president, I was fully prepared to vote for his Republican opponent, Tony Peraica, in protest. That is, until I read the article that shed a little more light on the candidate [The Works, August 4]. Despite Peraica’s claims that he’s no homophobe but rather a live-and-let-live kind of guy, he likened gay visibility and full participation in society to the “decay from within” that caused the decline of all great empires. This kind of insult from a politician might be met with a shrug in the former east bloc countries or certain American red states, but leaders in Chicago tend to understand that gay people and gay culture strengthen the city, not weaken it. Peraica certainly won’t be getting my vote.

Thanks to Ben Joravsky for consistently writing about what really matters in this city. He’s the best journalist in Chicago.

John G. McLaughlin