LGBTQ Victory Fund Blasts Felix Cardona Jr. for Anti-LGBTQ Whisper Campaign in Race for Chicago Alderman, Files Complaint with IRS

Cardona is deploying homophobic attacks against openly gay opponent Colin Bird-Martinez;  received improper support from a pastor who believes LGBTQ people are ‘worse than animals’

Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, condemned Chicago aldermanic candidate Felix Cardona, Jr. for a pattern of anti-LGBTQ attacks in Chicago’s 31st Ward. Cardona and his team have lodged homophobic comments about Colin Bird-Martinez, Victory Fund’s endorsed candidate. Furthermore, Cardona has benefited from Maranatha USA/Maranatha Word Revival – a tax-exempt, anti-LGBTQ religious organization with political activity around the globe.

In August, residents notified Bird-Martinez that pro-Cardona canvassers repeatedly misnamed him “Colin Bird” to deliberately ignore his married name. The campaign notified Cardona and he privately disavowed the language. Now, Multiple residents have come forward to report growing intimidation tactics and continued homophobic language from campaign staff and the candidate himself.

“I was told that he pretends to be Latino by taking his ‘wife’s’ last name, which is funny considering his husband’s name is Joshua,” says resident Unmbreen Qadeer-Salvador. Others were told, “this isn’t the 35th Ward,” alluding to the neighboring district represented by openly gay Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. Cardona also consistently uses “Colin Bird” in a February candidate forum broadcasted on Facebook Live. Victory Fund will provide names/contact information of residents willing to go on the record if requested.

“The 31st Ward is a majority Latinx ward with traditional Catholic values. Every door that I knock has been a coming-out process, as I do not hide my sexual identity,” said Colin Bird-Martinez. “I believe that my race can show that LGBTQ+ candidates do not need to fit the classic politician mold.”

Victory Fund has also filed a complaint against Cardona’s church, Maranatha USA, for appearing to violate the Internal Revenue Code’s limitations on political activity for 501(c)(3) organizations. Maranatha Senior Pastor Nahum Isaac Rosario hosted Cardona’s campaign kickoff and expressed his overt support without inviting Bird-Martinez to address churchgoers, a clear violation of IRS regulations.

Maranatha was founded by Rosario’s father Nahum Rosario, an anti-LGBTQ extremist known for egregious comments against LGBTQ people (translated from Spanish):

“First they told us we have to love homosexuals…then they said you have to allow them to adopt children and the governments gave in. Now you have to allow them to get married. I have never seen a horse mount another horse or a bull mount a bull. Those who reject the law of God are worse than an animal. Do not come to me with that trash thing of tolerance.”

Maranatha includes over 500 churches around the world and its co-founder, Javier Bertucci, is currently running for President of Venezuela on an anti-LGBTQ platform.

Victory Fund is calling on Felix Cardona, Jr. to reject the church’s position on LGBTQ rights and issue a public apology for his campaign’s homophobic dog whistles.

Colin will be the first black openly LGBTQ alderman on the Chicago City Council.


LGBTQ Victory Fund

LGBTQ Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government.