Bill Donohue wants to set the record straight.
The president of the Catholic League told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that he dropped plans to march in New York City's Gay Pride Parade because he was being forced to comply with rules that he said were hypocritical and exclusionary.
"I want to be very honest with you. This was a ploy, and they took the sucker's bait," Donohue said Wednesday. "I wanted to push them to tell me when I didn't agree with your rules that you weren't going to go along with it. I won on it. I had no intention of marching in the parade."
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In February, Donohue publicly rejected the idea that gays should be allowed to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade under a gay-pride banner, and said it would be tantamount to his wanting to march in the Gay Pride Parade under a "Straight Is Great" banner.
Donohue later applied to march in the Gay Pride Parade. His application was accepted, but Donohue reportedly objected to what he characterized as mandatory "gay training sessions."
GLAAD said on its website
that the training addresses parade logistics like lineup times, check-in locations, and NYPD safety policies. Donohue declined to attend those sessions and dropped out of the parade.
"Let's just say it's totally legitimate. Again, that's their call. It's none of my business to tell them what their rules ought to be. My larger point was, 'You have rules. So does the St. Patrick's Day Parade,'" Donohue said.
Malzberg asked Donohue about a Gawker report that Donohue had pictures of nude men from the 1994 pride march.
"I have the pictures because I hired a professional photographer," Donohue said.
There is a rule that parade participants in New York City can't be naked below the waist, and in 1994 there were two Gay Pride parades – one authorized, one not.
Donohue hired the photographer to document the illegal parade. The unauthorized procession went up Fifth Avenue and featured men masturbating and doing what Donohue characterized as Satanic dances in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"Let me make it clear: most gay people are good people," Donohue said. "That there's an element of gay fascism, there's no question about it. It's visited against the Catholic Church with alacrity."
Donohue also blasted media outlets, particularly The Associated Press, for what he said was bad reporting and misinformation surrounding the story.
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