CRIME

Jeanne Ives Phone Threat: Man Charged With Felony After Threatening State Rep Over Gay Marriage Remarks

03/26/2013 05:48 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2013

After Illinois state Rep. Jeanne Ives received a series of damning phone messages at her district office concerning inflammatory comments she made about same-sex marriage on a radio show, she remains no less opposed to marriage equality.

Instead, the biggest development to come from the Wheaton, Ill. Republican's Feb. 25 interview with a Catholic Conference of Illinois radio show wherein she described a same-sex marriage as "a completely disordered relationship" is a felony charge filed against a Chicago man who allegedly threatened Ives over her remarks.

Stephen Bona, 49, of Chicago, was initially charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for leaving a threatening voicemail for Ives at her office last week, but that charge was upgraded to a felony -- threatening a public official -- when he called her office again on Monday, Patch reports.

In audio provided to the Daily Herald by Ives' office, Bona reportedly said in the message, "Your Tea Party brethren Sarah Palin put up a map that included the names, locations and faces of Democratic candidates and put them in the cross hairs of a gun. … [P]erhaps we should do the same for you. We know where you live."

Bona's bond was set at $150,000. If convicted, Bona faces up to five years in prison and he is due in court on April 29.

In the controversial interview, Ives also accused LGBT people of trying to "weasel their way" into acceptability in pursuing marriage equality, an example of the specific wording that the freshman representative was likely referring to when she told the Herald this week she "probably could have used different word choices."

Ives' comments -- which she later clarified to claim she did not oppose same-sex people or relationships more broadly -- also inspired national LGBT advocacy group GLAAD to criticize how many Illinois media outlets did not hold Ives accountable for her comments, the Windy City Times reports:

"This is the same garbage we hear every time someone like Ives gets caught saying what he or she truly believes to what they assume is audience of exclusively like-minded people," GLAAD wrote in a March 20 blog post.

According to the conservative Illinois Review blog, police moved to increase security in the neighborhood of Ives' Wheaton office in response to the threat.

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