Organizers of New York City’s annual gay pride march, the culmination of New York’s Gay Pride week, announced today that they will allow Bill Donohue and his hate group The Catholic League to march with an anti-gay marriage banner and express their opposing view on same-sex marriage.
Donohue, who has openly compared incest to same-sex marriage, has been welcomed to participate in the June 29 event by march organizer David Studinski.
“His group’s presence affirms the need for this year’s pride theme, ‘We Have Won When We’re One,’” Studinski said in a statement. “Straight is great — as long as there’s no hate.”
As long as there’s no hate? The hell? Need we remind you again that national media outlets have already reported that Donohue plans to march with an anti-gay banner?
The news comes less than a week after the prohibition of LGBTs from St. Patrick’s Day parades in Boston and New York made national headlines. Major sponsors including Guinness and Sam Adams pulled out of the parades due to the exclusionary policies.
Frankly, Donohue’s inclusion in this historic event is a slap in the face to anyone who marched in the first Gay Pride march following the Stonewall riots — a march that symbolized the early advancement of the gay rights movement. It’s unnerving to see that, fifty years later, we’ve backpedaled to the point of welcoming our aggressors to take part in the festivities.
Update: Bill Donohue has released a statement explaining that he will not participate in this year’s march because he doesn’t want to attend mandatory information sessions:
For the past few days I have been engaged in an e-mail conversation with officials from the Heritage of Pride parade, New York’s annual gay event; the dialogue has been cordial. I asked to join the parade under a banner that would read, “Straight is Great.” The purpose of my request was to see just how far they would go without forcing me to abide by their rules. It didn’t take long before they did.
Today, I informed Heritage of Pride officials that I objected to their rule requiring me to attend gay training sessions, or what they call “information” sessions. “I don’t agree with your rule,” I said. They responded by saying that attendance was “mandatory.”
The St. Patrick’s Day parade has mandatory rules, too. It bars groups representing their own cause from marching, which is why pro-life Catholics—not just gays—are barred from participating under their own banner. But only gays complain: they refuse to abide by the rules. Indeed, they went into federal court seeking to force a rule change. They lost. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that private parades have a First Amendment right to determine their own rules.
It is hypocritical for gay activists to complain about having to abide by the mandatory rules of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and then inform me that I cannot march in their parade unless I respect their mandatory rules, rules that I reject.
Good luck to the Heritage of Pride participants. I may be watching it from afar, but I sure won’t be downing a Guinness afterwards.
Congratulations, NYC Pride. You’ve got your press.