Chicago man charged with threatening lawmaker

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

WHEATON – A Chicago man faces felony charges after authorities said he made threatening phone calls to a suburban lawmaker who called gay marriage “disordered.”

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Stephen Bona, 49, was released from jail Monday after posting 10 percent of his $150,000 bond.

Berlin said Bona made two threatening calls to state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Republican from Wheaton.

A news report said that in a voicemail left at Ives’ district office Friday, a caller referenced a map that former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin used to identify Democratic lawmakers she wanted to see defeated in the 2010 midterm elections. The map indicated targeted districts by showing them in the cross hairs of a gun.

In the voicemail the caller says: “Perhaps we should do the same for you. We know where you live.”

Bona was charged Friday with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

In a statement Tuesday, Berlin said the charges were upgraded to threatening a public official, a felony, after a second threatening call was placed on Monday. Wheaton police arrested him Monday afternoon, Berlin said.

On a Catholic Conference of Illinois radio show last month, Ives said same-sex marriages are “disordered” and that gay couples are trying to “weasel their way into acceptability.” She later clarified that she opposes gay marriage, not same-sex couples in general.

Ives said she stands by her comments.

“I know I speak for my district when I speak on that issue,” she said.

The comments drew criticism from supporters of same-sex marriage, though Ives said most of the emails, phone calls and Facebook messages quieted down after a few days.

The Illinois Senate passed a bill last month that would end the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. It passed a House committee but is awaiting a floor vote. House Speaker Michael Madigan said recently that the bill is “12 votes short of passage” in that chamber.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he would sign the bill.

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