In a Bizarre Twist, Catholic League Pulls Out (of St. Patrick’s Day Parade)

saint patrick catholic league

Because St. Patrick’s Day falls on Opposite Day in 2015, the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade will include an LGBT group, and will not include the Catholic League, which calls itself a “Catholic civil rights organization.” Catholic League president Bill Donohue pulled out of the event following a disagreement with parade organizers over the disinclusion of a pro-life group in the annual march, the New York Post reports.

The Catholic League, and Bill Donohue in particular, have been irascible on the subject of perceived liberal bias, under the umbrella of what Donohue has frequently called “Catholic bashing.” (But not, you know, bashing.) The group initially approved of allowing a gay group to march under its own banner—provided a pro-life group would also be allowed. Now that the NBC employee group OUT@NBCUniversal has been given permission to march, while an unspecified pro-life group has not, Donohue is out. He told the Post, “[The parade organizers] not only told me one thing, and did another, they decided to include a gay group that is neither Catholic nor Irish while stiffing pro-life Catholics. This is as stunning as it is indefensible.”

At least one explicitly Irish gay group, Irish Queers, was also denied permission to march in the parade, which puts them in strange but vehement agreement with Bill Donohue, at least in one respect. It’s possible the inclusion of OUT@NBCUniversal is not as progressive as it seems; why would only NBC’s LGBT group be included over Irish LGBT groups? Giving the pro-lifers their own banner is a slightly different question, since homosexuality is neither a political position nor a dogmatic religious argument, but whatever your beliefs I’m not sure you can say “yes” to one and “no” to the other in good First Amendment conscience. I’ve never been one to side with Bill Donohue, but I think I might have to on this one.

Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.


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