ONE of the world’s largest LGBTI parades has approved an application from a leading figure in the US anti same-sex marriage movement to march at the event.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, applied to New York’s Pride organisers to march under a banner saying “straight is great”.

The application, by the head of America’s largest Catholic advocacy organisation, follows a ban on gay groups marching under their own banners at a number of US St Patrick’s Day parades earlier this month.

The ban led to the mayors of New York and Boston refusing to attend St Patrick’s Day parades in their cities.

Donohue admitted the application was a stunt: “The purpose of my request was to see just how far they would go without forcing me to abide by their rules.”

However, New York Pride accepted his application with open arms. David Studinski, March Director, said: “Mr Donohue and his group are free to participate. His group’s presence affirms the need of this year’s Pride theme, ‘We Have Won When We’re One.’ Straight is great — as long as there’s no hate.”

President of LGBTI campaign group GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, welcomed Donohue’s application: “I’m hoping Bill will march with me at NYC Pride.

“I look forward to the day when I can march openly with Bill in the St Patrick’s Day Parade.”

Despite the approval, Donohue announced he wouldn’t, after all, be marching in the parade due to his objection at having to attend what he referred to as “gay training sessions.”

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

The organisers of the rally, which will be held in June, said Donohue’s characterisations of the sessions was wide of the mark.

“We hold march information and safety sessions so our participants are fully aware of rules and procedures come event day,” Studinski said.

“These trainings address line-up times, NYPD safety policies, and vehicle/sound permits.

“It is imperative group leaders know this information.”

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons) 


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