equal rites

Catholic League President Throws a Tantrum Over New St. Patrick’s Day Parade Rules

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is pulling out of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will include a gay group for the first time ever.

Group head Bill Donohue says he does not have a blanket opposition to gay groups marching because he thinks they’re icky. (Though he did say that he worries because, “[U]nlike others they have a tendency to act up, [not keeping] their pants on,” in a radio interview.) Instead, like a shrewd businessman, he demanded a tit-for-tat exchange from organizers: a gay group marches, and so does an anti-abortion Catholic one. But alas, that was not to be, and the parade will only feature the gay group.

[T]hey decided to include a gay group that is neither Catholic nor Irish while stiffing pro-life Catholics,” Donohue said. “This is as stunning as it is indefensible.”

Parade organizers have been blocking LGBT groups from marching in the parade for years, prompting mayor Bill de Blasio to skip the parade, just as almost-mayor Christine Quinn had done while City Council speaker. Guinness, maker of the holiday’s sacred drink, also dropped its sponsorship of the event.

Then, just a week ago, parade organizers announced that they were caving to corporate pressure and allowing LGBT employee group OUT@NBCUniversal (which belongs to the channel that broadcasts the festivities for all to see) to march under a gay banner. Somewhere, not very far, a radical gay queer group is bemoaning the corporatization of the movement.

If parade organizers want to check both boxes at once, though, we did some research: There’s a group for that.

Catholic League Pulls Out of St. Paddy’s