National Catholic Reporter

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Bill Donohue pulls out of Gay Pride Parade

 |  NCR Today

File this one under "Why am I not surprised?"

Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, has already pulled out of his request to join the NYC Gay Pride Parade in June. On Thursday, Donohue asked to march under a banner that would read, "Straight is Great."

In a statement Saturday, Donohue put his cards on the table, admitting that the purpose of his request "was to see just how far they would go without forcing me to abide by their rules."

Donohue was attempting to draw a parallel between the Gay Pride Parade and the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, which continues to ban gay and lesbian organizations from participating.

But this latest publicity stunt backfired on him when, perhaps to his surprise, Pride organizers warmly welcomed him.

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David Studinski, march director of NYC Pride, said in a statement, "Mr. Donohue and his group are free to participate in the 2014 March. 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."

Looking for a way out of his parade charade, Donohue complained that the Pride March would require him to attend a mandatory information and safety session. The session, which is meant to ensure a smooth and safe event, is a prerequisite for all participating organizations.

In a particularly juvenile move, Donohue characterized the safety training sessions as "gay training sessions."

"I don't agree with your rule," Donohue told parade organizers when they told him it was mandatory.

"It is hypocritical for gay activists to complain about having to abide by the mandatory rules of the St. Patrick's Day parade," he continued, "and then inform me that I cannot march in their parade unless I respect their mandatory rules that I reject."

Donohue, of course, is comparing apples to oranges. It's one thing for an organization to reject a group from a parade because they are gays and lesbians and quite another for a group to object to being in a parade because of required safety training sessions.

But in Donohue's mind, somehow, these two circumstances are analogous. For many who have observed Donohue's latest failed stunt, this is only further evidence of his organization's deepening descent into irrational thinking and religious irrelevance.

The full details of this story can be found on the GLAAD website.

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