Mundelein mayor on hot seat for comments on gay marriage, unwed parents

MUNDELEIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A suburban mayor is on the hot seat for controversial comments about same-sex marriage and children born out of wedlock. The remarks by Mayor Steve Lentz are lighting up social media.

He turned down ABC7's request for an interview, but his comments can be heard on the internet.

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On the Fourth of July, Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz was the keynote speaker for the annual patriotic celebration at Fort Hill Heritage Museum. Halfway through his comments, his speech took a controversial turn.

"I'll address the elephant in the room and that is some of us are kind of reeling after the Supreme Court decision a week and a half ago," Lentz said.

The Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage was just one of the topics on Lentz's list. He also commented on alcoholism and unwed parents.

"Our nation is in a moral crisis, and it's something that needs to be talked about more. Out of wedlock birthrate is just crazy high compared to our history," Lentz said.

Audio of the 11-minute speech was posted on Facebook the next day by Lentz himself as talk of his remarks spread through the community. Residents took to his page to either voice outrage or support.

"I'm not saying I agree with him on that, but that's what's great about living in this country, you get to say really how you feel," said Evan Larsson, a Mundelein resident.

"He's gotta deal with the consequences of his comments so whatever happens, happens," said John Bruhn, a Mundelein resident.

Lentz also responded to the controversy with a statement on his Facebook page that says in part, "Suffice to say, no offense was intended... Nothing I said was intended to disparage single parents, and it grieves me to hear that others spun my words to imply that I said otherwise."

Mayor Lentz declined to comment Monday night, but says on his Facebook page that he will be at a restaurant this Saturday morning to talk to anyone who has concerns about his statements.

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