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Donohue Gets Green Light to March in NYC Gay Parade

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 01:53 PM

The organizers of New York City's Gay Pride Parade say Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, is welcome to march in this year's parade with a sign proclaiming "Straight is Great!"

“Mr. Donohue and his group are free to participate in the 2014 March," David Studinski, director of NYC Pride's annual parade, said in a statement. "His group’s presence affirms the need for this year’s Pride theme, 'We Have Won When We’re One.' Straight is great – as long as there’s no hate."

Donohue got the green light one day after he appeared on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV and revealed he was challenging NYC Pride to let him march.

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Donohue is fuming about the complaints gay groups have made about the organizers of New York City's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The gay organizations insist they are being discriminated against because parade officials won't let them use banners touting anything gay — and persuaded the makers of Guinness Stout, and Heineken and Sam Adams beers, to pull their support of the event.

Organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade say they do not allow political statements of any kind and are not being discriminatory against gays. They have welcomed them to march, but without the banners.

The pressure exerted by gay groups roiled Donohue, who on Wednesday told Steve Malzberg:

"I went to the managing director of the Heritage of Pride Parade and ... said, listen, I want to march under my own banner, 'Straight Is Great,' in the 2014 Heritage of Pride Parade. Do you agree? Are they going to let me do it or not? I'm waiting to see what they want to say."

Donohue said organizers of the Gay Pride Parade have rules about marching just as the St. Patrick's Day Parade does – and they should understand that.

"[The gays] have rules and have a right to have their rules, which say you have to have LGBT signs, if you're a corporation sponsor — we'll take your money — but you can't have the corporation logo," Donohue told Malzberg.

"You can disagree with their rules, but that's their parade. [So] why don't they respect us when it comes to the St. Patrick's Day parade?"

Donohue, whose group defends the right of Catholics "to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination" — said the controversy stems from the opposition of gay-rights groups to the church's teachings on marriage.

"That's what this is all about. It's about sexuality. Almost all of the attacks that come across my desk every day about Catholics have to do with sexuality," he said.

"It's either gay issues or abortion issues or contraception issues. They just can't just leave us alone."

Donohue, who wore a Guinness cap during his interview with Malzberg, later whipped it off and said he might burn it.

"I've had it with them, I've had my last pint, quite frankly. We're going to let the Bostonians take care of Sam Adams. Heineken's, I've said many times that it's slop beer to begin with, so I don't really care about them," he said.

"I'm going to go after Guinness big-time, nonstop, relentlessly."

He said he is getting "overwhelming" support for his boycott efforts.

"They have really made a serious mistake, Guinness, in trying to stick it to Roman Catholics," said Donohue, who has been speaking to bartenders and bishops about his campaign.

"We can't keep up with the emails coming in. People are fed up. This is the final straw. We are not anti-gay or ... anything of that nature, we're simply saying that we have our own rules."

"On Monday [at the parade], I didn't ask people what they do in bed and with whom. What do I care if you're homosexual or heterosexual?

"If you're from County Kerry, from Cardinal Spellman [High School], the police department, then you get a banner because it's your unit. But there are no causes. This is not the place for some political statement. [The parade] is there to honor ... St. Patrick."

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