10/12/14

Join IQ for prisoner letter writing, monthly.

Irish Queers is meeting monthly for political prisoner letter-writing! Please contact us to be added to the announcement list for letter-writing plus eats, drinks, and/or good company.

For October we'll be joining ABC's letter-writing/vegan dinner this coming Tuesday, Oct. 14 @ 7pm. After that, we'll be Irish Queers-ing it up with our own writing/meetings, in addition to supporting other folks' events.

Here's ABC's event description. Please come!

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
WHERECAGE – 83A Hester Street (UPSTAIRS) New York, New York 10002 (directions below)
COST: Freeluke_o'donovan
Have you ever been squarely punched in the nose? If so, you know how disorienting it is. Of course there’s the pain, but with the punch comes a lot of blood and a shockwave through your skull. Your head gets rocked back and the violence is all too palpable. The language and imagery of violence is again (still?) in vogue, popularized by folks who have likely never meted out or received much of it. It’s difficult for us in NYC ABC not to feel disgusted when we see this trend followed in radical communities, knowing the kind of violence our friends and comrades regularly endure. 
It is with violence and a radical defense against it in mind that we focus our next political prisoner letter-writing dinner on Luke O’Donovan. On New Year’s Eve of 2013, Luke was seen dancing with and kissing other men at a house party. Later in the night he was insulted with homophobic slurs, and attacked by several people. Luke unsuccessfully attempted to escape, at which point several witnesses reported watching between 5 and 12 men ganging-up on Luke and stomping on his head and body, evidently with the intent to kill him. Luke was called a faggot before and during the attack. Throughout the course of the attack, Luke and five others were stabbed. Luke was subsequently imprisoned and charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as one count of attempted murder while none of the other individuals involved in the altercation were charged. 
Luke’s trial concluded on August 12, 2014, when he accepted a plea deal. While initially facing over 100 years in prison, the deal Luke accepted includes two years in prison and eight years on probation. At the time of sentencing, the judge added to the negotiated plea that Luke will bebanished from the state of Georgia for the eight years of his probation.
We’re lucky to have a guest speaker who was in Atlanta for Luke’s court proceedings and will have more information on Luke’s case and ways to help.
While we expect to see you on Tuesday, if you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Luke: 
Luke Patrick O’Donovan #1001372271Washington State PrisonPost Office Box 206Davisboro, Georgia 31018 
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some briefupdates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the PP/POW Birthday Calendar. 
DIRECTIONS:
Getting to CAGE is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Essex Street Stop: Walk west on Delancey Street (toward Essex Street, away from Norfolk Street) and make a left on Essex Street. Walk three blocks and turn right onto Hester Street. We’re two and a half blocks down, on the right.
From the F:
East Broadway Stop: Walk north on Rutgers Street (toward East Broadway, away from Henry Street), that becomes Essex Street, and turn left on Hester Street. We’re two and a half blocks down, on the right.
From the B/D:
Grand Street Stop: Walk east on Grand Street (Toward Forsyth Street, away from Chrystie Street) and turn right on Orchard Street. Walk one block and turn right onto Hester Street. We’re a few storefronts down on the right.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.
This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.

NYC ABC
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
nycabc[at]riseup[dot]net
http://nycabc.wordpress.comhttp://www.facebook.com/nycabchttp://twitter.com/nycabchttp://instagram.com/nycabchttp://www.abcf.net/nycFree all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!

10/10/14

Irish/queer communities to Mayor & NYC Council Speaker: the ban is not lifted, keep the pressure on!


Mayor deBlasio & Speaker Mark-Viverito:
Keep up the boycott of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade until Irish LGBTQ groups can march under their own banner.

Oct. 9, 2014

Dear Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito,

Last year, your public boycott of the anti-gay NYC St. Patrick's Day parade finally paved the way for corporate sponsors to drop the parade. Their departure created pressure on NBC, one of the last remaining sponsors and the broadcaster of the parade, who put pressure on the parade organizers to finally end their ban on Irish LGBTQ groups.

Instead of that pressure leading to Irish LGBTQ groups taking their rightful place in the community's parade, OUT@NBCUniversal has jumped into the space it created. OUT@NBCUniversal is the gay employee/marketing group of the parade's sponsor. The Irish LGBTQ community is still excluded from the parade. The “lifting of the ban” is a sham.

Parade organizers have said that Irish LGBTQ groups may “apply” to march in future St. Patrick’s Day Parades from 2016 on, claiming that there is no room for another group in 2015. This is the same ruse they used in 1991 when they wanted to exclude the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization. When Mayor Dinkins called their bluff and offered to expand the march to allow ILGO in, the organizers came out in the open with their anti-gay reasons for excluding them. This year, when Irish LGBTQ groups applied, parade organizers quickly declared that applications were closed. In the fallout from this gay-panic response, the Catholic League also dropped out of the 2015 march, leaving the parade short of one large contingent. As before, parade organizers simply refuse to let Irish LGBTQ groups march in the newly-opened space.

State and national LGBTQ advocacy groups, as well as groups in Ireland, are supporting the demand for Irish LGBTQ groups to march openly and freely, rather than seeking to march themselves or supporting OUT@NBCUniversal's participation.

Irish LGBTQ groups have also asked OUT@NBCUniversal to withdraw from the parade until Irish LGBTQ groups are part of the parade.

We write to ask that you continue to publicly boycott the parade until Irish LGBTQ groups are accepted into the line of march, and march openly, as full and respected members of the Irish American community.

Because the parade organizers have made misleading claims like “gays are welcome to march, just not to be identified” and now “the ban is lifted, but only for NBC employees”, it's important to be clear about what constitutes inclusion. Irish LGBTQ groups must be able to march just like other contingents: with the group name on a banner identifying the contingent as Irish LGBTQ people. Last year in Boston, parade organizers tried to negotiate with an LGBTQ contingent to march under the word “equality.” But the organizers refused to allow a banner to say “LGBT” or “gay”, as if those were dirty words. So the LGBTQ group rightly declared that parade organizers were not actually willing to lift the ban, and they refused to march. New York City also cannot accept such pretenses at inclusion.

We deeply appreciate your support. Please be in touch with your response, or if we can answer any questions.

Sincerely,



Gaby Cryan, Emmaia Gelman, & J.F. Mulligan
Irish Queers

Kate Barnhart, Executive Director           
New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth

Mary E. Bartholomew, Esq.

Sandy Boyer

Rev. Pat Bumgardner
Metropolitan Community Church - NY

Suzy Byrne

Leslie Cagan

Kailin Callaghan, Lead Organizer
Rockaway Wildfire

Fidelma Carolan, Regional Officer (N. Ireland)
UNISON

Kelly Cogswell, Author of Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger

Michael Czaczkes, President
Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn

Kara Davis, Queer Activist

Bill Dobbs, Gay Civil Libertarian

Erin M. Drinkwater, Executive Director
Brooklyn Community Pride Center

Ronnie Eldridge, Former New York City Councilmember

Jennifer Flynn, Executive Director
VOCAL-NY

Kathleen Gaul
Community Leader at TUSLA, Ireland
Emily Jane Goodman, New York State Supreme Court Justice, Ret.

Marie Honan

Tony Hoffmann, President, Village Independent Democrats*

Stephanie Hsu, Secretary
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA)

Andy Humm and Ann Northrop, Co-Hosts
Gay USA

Esther Kaplan

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Marjorie Dove Kent, Executive Director
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

SL Korn, Queer Activist

Gareth Lee,
Queer Space Collective Belfast

Bertha Lewis, Executive Director
Black Institute

Mark Libkuman, Open Flows Community Technology Cooperative

Scott Long, Human Rights Activist

Amanda Lugg, Director of Advocacy
African Services Committee

Alan Levine, Civil Rights Attorney

Father BernĂ¡rd Lynch, London, Chair of Camden LGBT Forum

Anne Maguire, ILGO

Eileen Markey, Writer

Malachy McCourt

Lucy McDiarmid

Matthew McMorrow, Manager of Government Affairs
Empire State Pride Agenda

Zenaida Mendez, President
National Organization for Women-NYS

Megan Mulholland
QUEEROCRACY

Dr Tina O'Toole, Founder member of LINC Cork
University of Limerick, Ireland

Pauline Park, Executive Director
Queens Pride House

Edward Pass

Allen Roskoff, President
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, City University of New York-College of Staten Island

Arthur Z. Schwartz, President of Advocates for Justice and Democratic District Leader for Greenwich Village

Tom Shanahan, Civil Rights Attorney

Ailbhe Smyth, LGBT Rights Campaigner
Former Head of Women's Studies and Senior Lecturer, University College Dublin (UCD)


Brad Taylor

Zephyr Teachout, former candidate for Governor, Professor Fordham Law School, and author of Corruption in America

Jay Toole
Jay’s House

Andy Velez

John Voelcker

Urvashi Vaid, Senior Fellow, Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School*

Maxine Wolfe, Professor Emerita, City University Graduate School

Joan Wile, Author, and Founder, Grandmothers Against the War

Tim Wu, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor/Professor Columbia Law School

Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel

Lesbian Herstory Archive

MIX NYC: Queer Experimental Film Festival

Queer Nation NY







*Asterisk indicates organization listed for identification purposes only.



9/15/14

Irish LGBTQs to Gay Inc: Please don't apply to march

[This letter was emailed to national LGBT advocacy organizations on Sept. 7 and 8, 2014.]

9/8/14

Dear LGBT advocacy organizations,

As we're sure you know, Irish LGBTQ groups have been fighting for inclusion in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade for over 20 years. Irish Queers (and its predecessor, the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, and other groups and allies) has suffered hundreds of arrests for civil disobedience, many years of protesting from the sidelines, and an endless history of enduring insults, threats and beer bottles thrown by parade participants and spectators. Brendan Fay and His Lavender and Green Alliance created a now much-respected and beloved St. Pat's for All inclusive parade in Queens.

Nothing has deterred us from showing up every year on Fifth Avenue and continuing to demand inclusion as Irish people and Irish-Americans in what should be our parade, too. Our annual exclusion is the subject of worldwide headlines every year.

Now the headlines have changed. But the war is not yet won. Parade organizers are trying to finesse their loss of major sponsors by offering a place in the line of march to an LGBTQ employee group from NBC (the parade broadcaster). Parade organizers did not discuss this with any of us, nor have they made a single move to include an actual Irish LGBTQ group.

So we are making formal application for inclusion in the 2015 Parade. We would like your support. We would like you to show up at our press conference on Tues., Sept. 9, at 9am on the steps of the NY Public Library at Fifth Ave. and 40th St. We would like you to contact the parade organizers to support our application. 

And we would like you NOT to apply to march yourselves. This is an explicitly Irish heritage parade. That's why we should be included. Because we are groups of Irish LGBT people. This parade is unique. Unlike the LGBTQ Pride Parades or the Puerto Rican Day Parade or most others, this one does not welcome all comers. It's very closed and specific.

Please do not apply to march. Please support the application of Irish LGBTQ people to march.

Thank you,

Irish Queers
Lavender and Green Alliance
St. Pat's for All

9/11/14

Parade "too long" to let IQ in? Catholic League has just made room.

The Catholic League, huge supporter of the parade till now.
The NYC St. Patrick's Day parade is a hot mess. Being secretive and bossy and then trying to keep your story straight is super complicated. The parade organizers did something silly when they conspired with NBC to let its gay employee marketing group join the parade, but not Irish LGBTQ groups.

Amazingly, it seems like they thought it would pass quietly, or even that they'd be celebrated for their magnanimity. After all these years, they still don't get that you can't run a community's parade -- a very diverse community of millions across many countries -- as if it were a secret club with offices in a locker room.

They also seem to think we don't remember the tricks they've used in the past to pretend they weren't excluding anyone. (Set aside the strange argument that LGBT people are welcome to march as long as they march in the closet, unidentified.) First they tell us (through the press) that we "can apply to march" and then they tell us they can't take our application because "they're under pressure to shorten the parade." Are we talking about 1992 or 2014? Hard to tell!

The parade committee unleashed an outpouring of support for LGBT marchers when they announced the (fake) end of the ban last week. Given that outpouring, they panicked when all of NYC's Irish LGBT groups applied to march. Hemming and hawing, they pretended the applications were suddenly closed. No more room in the parade! The position is filled! Fifth Avenue is only so many blocks long, you know.

But the Catholic League got thrown out with the parade's panicky bathwater. They'd been promised an anti-abortion group could apply and march in exchange for NBC's gay marchers. Who knew the applications would be gay-panic-closed before they got to do that? The logistics of exclusion are really so complicated. So the Catholic League has pulled out of the parade.

And that makes room for one more contingent. It seems there's room in the parade after all for Irish LGBT people, huh,

9/9/14

Statement: Still here, still queer, still Irish; and applying to march.


(Photo: Donna Aceto, Gay City News 9/9/14)

Sept. 9, 2014

Last week we learned that the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade made a backroom deal to invite OUT@NBC Universal, a gay marketing group, to march in the 2015 parade. Today, Irish Queers are applying to march in the 2015 St. Patrick’s Parade, along with Lavender and Green Alliance and St. Pat’s for All.

It’s no secret that parade organizers don’t want to admit that Irish LGBT people are part of the Irish community; and that they use their control over the parade permit to keep us out. Two decades of calls from Ireland and NYC to end the bigotry have not changed the parade committee’s minds.

They’re under pressure now, but they haven’t changed their tune. When Guinness, Heineken, and elected officials dropped out of the parade last year, NBC told the parade committee they couldn’t keep sponsoring unless the anti-gay ban were lifted. So OUT@NBC offered itself as a painless solution. Gay corporate staff can march (under a banner that doesn’t say the word “gay”), NBC saves face, and the parade keeps NBC’s sponsorship – without doing a thing to end the exclusion of Irish LGBT groups.

Parade organizers have said in the press that Irish LGBT groups “can apply to march in future years” and that inviting NBC’s gays is “a gesture of goodwill.” This is an unwelcome bit of Irish nostalgia. ILGO was also told by parade organizers in the early 1990s to "apply to march." The organizers pretended ILGO was on a waiting list because the parade was too long, and made excuses for refusing our application that were uncovered later in court.

Now, less than a week since their “gesture of goodwill”, the parade committee is saying they can’t entertain our application because they’re “under pressure to shorten the parade.” ARE. YOU. SERIOUS.

We’re submitting our application today. And we’re calling on OUT@NBC Universal to refuse to march until Irish LGBT groups march in the Irish parade, under our own banners. We call on OUT@NBC not to be pawns in this triangulation of homophobia, money, and PR.

We want to march up Fifth Avenue as an Irish diaspora that has finally joined Ireland in rejecting religion-fueled bigotry. Let Irish queer groups finally take our place in this year's parade.


###

9/7/14

Join IQ for press conf. - applying to march!

Please join Irish Queers, the Lavendar and Green Alliance and St. Pat's for All this Tuesday as we announce our applications to march in the St Patrick's Day parade in 2015.


Tues. Sept. 9, 9am

Steps of the NY Public Library, 40th St and Fifth Ave.!


Last week parade organizers announced a secret deal permitting only the gay employee group of the parade's corporate sponsor -- and not any Irish LGBTQ groups -- to march in the parade. 


We apply while remembering that ILGO was also told by the parade organizers to “apply to march”. The parade organizers- many of the same people who will review our application now, told ILGO that they were on a waiting list, which was a lie. Applying again is “our gesture of goodwill”.


So many hundreds of queers, Irish community activists, and supporters have worked to end bigotry and exclusion in the parade -- come out, everyone!


Info: 917-517-3627 or irishqueers@gmail.com


Web: http://irishqueers.blogspot.com

9/3/14

Statement on St Patrick's Parade/OUT@NBC announcement

Irish Queers -- along with the scores of LGBT individuals, groups, and allies who have fought since 1991 for a parade that includes the whole Irish community -- is learning about the change in the NYC St Patrick's Day parade at the same time as the rest of New York City and the Irish community. We welcome this cracking of the veneer of hate, but so far Irish LGBT groups are still not able to march in our community's parades. The fight continues.

This is a deal that was made behind closed doors between parade organizers and one of their last remaining sponsors, NBC. It allows NBC's gay employees to march, but embarrassingly has not ended the exclusion of Irish LGBT groups. The parade organizers have said, astoundingly, that we "can apply" in years to come.

To the extent that parade organizers have changed their tune, it's the result of Irish Queers' many years of organizing, which led to last year's refusal to march by Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and others, and Mayor de Blasio, the withdrawal of major corporate sponsors and escalating criticism of uniformed city workers marching in the Parade.

We welcome this small victory, but our call remains the same -- the parade must be open to Irish LGBT groups, not "in subsequent years" but now. (We remember too well how parade organizers used fake waiting lists to bury our appications before.)

The Irish community in Ireland and abroad is far more progressive than the parade committee, having abandoned the secretive power-mongering of the days when the Catholic Church held sway over politics. We still hope NYC will catch up. This has been a long, long journey and struggle. It is time for Irish LGBT people, marching under our own banner, to take our rightful place in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Info: 917-517-3627 or irishqueers@gmail.com

irishqueers.blogspot.com

4/28/14

Lawsuit challenging NYPD & FDNY on bigoted St. Patrick's parade

The LGBTQ protest of the homophobic, religious right NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade made big progress this year. The boycott made international headlines, and major sponsors dropped out.

But incredibly, the NYPD and FDNY still insist they have a “right” to join in with the homophobia, as if anti-discrimination laws (and the Constitution) are just a suggestion.

So we’re taking it to court. We’re bringing a lawsuit arguing that the NYPD and FDNY are sending a message that LGBTQ New Yorkers’ rights, safety, and inclusion really don’t matter to them, and our communities can’t rely on them. We’ll ask the court to make the City follow its own anti-discrimination laws and the Constitution.

We hope that challenging anti-LGBTQ bias in particular will help create the environment of accountability around NYPD and FDNY discrimination more broadly.

For information or to join the lawsuit:
irishqueers@gmail.com or (917) 517-3627.

------

Here's what the lawsuit will say:
  • LGBTQ New Yorkers are supposed to have fair and equitable access to public services, including policing (suspend your critique of policing generally, for a second.)
  • The NYPD's official participation in the explicitly religious right/homophobic NYC St. Patrick's Day parade tells the LGBTQ community that the NYPD, the FDNY, and the City are (still) not interested in our community's rights and safety, and that the NYPD is "more oppressor than protector" to the LGBTQ community, in the words of a federal appeals court.
  • This bias denies LGBTQ people equal access to the services of the NYPD.

Here's what we hope the lawsuit, and the political organizing around it, will accomplish:
  • Force the City (NYPD, FDNY, etc) to disassociate itself from the bigoted parade, and possibly force a change that takes the lucrative event away from the bigoted power brokers who run it now.
  • Pose a serious and highly public challenge to the NYPD’s and FDNY’s bias and homophobia, and the permissive attitude of the City toward that bias.
  • Weaken the power of the religious right in NYC (which is also currently challenging secular control of city schools.)
What does "joining the lawsuit" actually mean?
It means adding your name to the court document. The court document will make a claim about how NYPD homophobia (as expressed when thousands of uniformed cops march in a huge bigoted parade) affects the community in general, and you as an example. This lawsuit will not ask the NYPD to pay money for the harm it has caused.

Who can join?
  • NYC residents who identify as LGBTQ
    • including people who have not had direct experience of biased policing
    • including people who have had direct experience of biased policing
    • including people who are citizens, residents, green card holders, etc.
  • NYC organizations who represent or serve LGBTQ people
Who should not join?
  • People who don't live in NYC or aren't LGBTQ (because of the specific requirements of law -- not because we don't love you.)
  • People who might have a problem with their legal residency status, outstanding warrants, or other issue that might be complicated if your name appears in a court document.
How much money will it cost you?
NONE. Our fabulous attorney and legal team are working pro bono (for free). We’ll be planning some fabulous community fundraising events to pay for court costs.

How much of my time will it take?
Not much, unless you want to pitch in with the organizing. We will be doing political and media organizing around the lawsuit, and you are welcome to join in that or not.

When we meet, the legal team will need to get a short statement from you about how NYPD and FDNY participation in the homophobic parade affects you.

Our lawyer says:
It's possible you would be asked to give testimony at a deposition (that is testifying, under oath, in a lawyer’s office, with a court reporter transcribing your testimony.)  The process would take a few hours of preparation with the lawyer and up to seven hours (although usually less) at the deposition. Questioning would be about the subject matter of the lawsuit.


There may be times when it makes sense for us to show up in court, and for LGBTQ community members to testify about how the NYPD and FDNY participation affects them, if the lawsuit goes to trial. We'll need some folks to do that, but it's also absolutely fine if some of us cannot.

3/21/14

O HIJINKS! Bill Donohue can march in NYC Pride - but does he want to?

File under hilarious unintended consequences (Irish Queers' or Bill Donohue's, take your pick.) Right-Catholic bigot Bill Donohue has applied to march in Pride. Unfortunately for him, NYC Pride organizers said "sure!" Now he's stuck with it -- although apparently he hasn't actually registered yet and is trying to wiggle out. Major kudos to Heritage of Pride for rolling with the punches.

Below are the news clips from March 20 and 21, 2014.

Your Irish-and-queer-but-not-Catholic blogger has to admit that she never heard Bill Donohue speak until these recordings made the rounds, although he's said plenty of similar stuff in print. But heavens to Betsy! The man sounds like he needs a Guinness and some downers. OMG, I really, really hope he marches in Pride.

----

[VIDEO] Donohue: Gay Pride Putting Up Blocks to Stop Me Marching

Donohue believes NYC Pride is fearful that Catholic League supporters could overwhelm the Gay Pride Parade, which is held on the last weekend in June.

"What if instead of getting 100 people, what if I get 3,000 people? What if we begin to overwhelm their parade and veto their message. They know what's at stake," he said.
"They had a chance already to unequivocally answer me, and they're not doing that. They're dancing on the head of a lawyer's pin. We'll find out."

Donohue insisted the controversy surrounding the St. Patrick's Day Parade is not being promoted by all gays, but rather an elite group of high-powered liberals with an agenda.

"There's not enough gays that they lined up single file to pull off this nonsense, it's supported by the tony corporate boys and girls at Guinness … and the Georgetown people, Park Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin, Hollywood people," he said.

Guinness, along with fellow brewers Heineken and Samuel Adams, pulled out of sponsorship of the St. Patrick's Day Parade because of organizers' refusal to allow gays to march under their own banner. Donohue says he will boycott the beers.

"You know who I'm talking about, the elite. It's the cultural elite," said Donohue. "They think it's chic to be involved with gay rights causes.... [They] crossed the line on this one. All we want to do is have a St. Patrick's Day parade which honors St. Patrick's and you want to crash it with your own agenda.

Bill Donahue wants to ruin New York City’s LGBT pride parade by participating in it

Catholic League's Bill Donohue Seems a Little Nervous About Actually Marching in the Gay Pride Parade

[VIDEO & AUDIO which btw sounds like Donohue is about to blow a gasket] Why NYC's Gay Pride Parade Is Letting This Guy March Under a "Straight Is Great" Banner

Pride parade welcomes Catholic League's Donohue's request to march
http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/pride-parade-welcomes-catholic-league-s-donohue-s-request-to-march-1.7455814

Bill Donohue, Catholic League Leader, Invited To March In The 2014 NYC Pride Parade

Anti-Gay Catholic Leader Trying To Slip Out Of Agreement To March In Gay Pride Parade?

Anti-Gay Catholic Leader Trying To Slip Out Of Agreement To March In Gay Pride Parade?
Falsely Claims NYC Pride ‘Trying To Impose Their Agenda’ On His ‘Straight Is Great’ Marchers

Bill Donohue is the head of the highly-profitable Catholic League. From his office suite that adjoins the New York Archdiocese headquarters, Bill Donohue sits, waits, and then attacks. He attacks same-sex marriage and its supporters. He attacks women’s reproductive rights and its supporters. He attacks those who oppose the church’s handling of its pedophile priests. And he attacks any social issue that might challenge the authority or positions of the Roman Catholic Church.

And for that, Bill Donohue makes $407,000 a year.

His Catholic League is rated just two out of four stars by Charity Navigator. Of the $3.7 million Donohue’s Catholic League — which many believe is just Donohue and a secretary or two — took in during 2012, a whopping 23.4% went to administrative costs, and another whopping 22% went to fundraising.

So why are we telling you all this?

Because Bill Donohue is a blowhard and a coward.

This week, Donohue went ballistic, after learning that Guinness beer pulled its sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade over the parade’s anti-gay policies. Being an Irish Catholic, no doubt the parade is near and dear to Bill’s heart, but apparently the free market system is allowed to go just so far for Donohue.

He launched a boycott of Guinness, which he said was acting “like a corporate bully.”
So in retaliation, and no doubt trying to find discrimination, Donohue made a big stink about trying to get into the New York City gay pride parade. He demanded organizers allow him to march under a “Straight is Great” banner.

Much to Donohue’s surprise, they did — immediately.

Hours later, the head of GLAAD asked to march with him. Turns out, Sarah Kate Ellis is “a fellow Irish New Yorker.”

Now, in a cowardly and hypocritical way, Donohue is trying to claim organizers are stalling and trying to block him, so he can wiggle out of marching in the parade.
The problem, for Donohue, is that they’re not.

“Their initial response was okay, you have to come to a training session,” Donohue said in an interview yesterday with NewsMax TV. “People have to wear LGBT paraphernalia … Now they are dancing. They are saying, well … we have our own rules and what not,” Donohue is claiming.

“Quite frankly as a straight guy, I don’t go to gay training sessions,” Donohue said. “I’m pretty much of an untrainable guy when it comes these things.”

“I said, look I want to be clear, can I march with my banner ‘Straight is Great?’ My members will wear t-shirts ‘Straight is Great’ – I’m waiting for the final answer.”
“Before I attend your training sessions, I just want to know … They’re not giving me an unequivocal answer.”

In this video, Donohue admits his entire reason for wanting to march is to make up his own rules. Now that he’s done so, and they’ve been accepted, he is twisting the organizers’ response:

[VIDEO]

Well, that’s totally false, according to the NYC Pride organizers.

The New Civil Rights Movement reached out to the official organizers of NYC Pride, Heritage of Pride, Inc.

Here’s what they said to us, via email:

We require all March registrants to have group leaders attend an event operations training. This is for the safety for our participants. The requirement is not unique to Mr. Donohue.
Mr. Donohue sought prior approval on his group’s slogan, “Straight is Great.” We acknowledged his message and said the text was fine. At no point have we instructed Mr. Donohue as to what must be printed on his group’s shirts. The NYC Pride March Rules & FAQs sheet can be found here (as public on our website):
http://www.nycpride.org/uploads/2013NYCPrideMarch-Rules&FAQs.pdf

As of [this] writing, neither Mr. Donohue nor the Catholic League have submitted registration for the 2014 NYC Pride March.

So, a safety training class to Bill Donohue is “gay training.”

He got his “final answer” immediately, and he knows it — as does everyone else who’s been following the news.

NYC Pride clearly did not state that he or his group “have to wear LGBT paraphernalia,” nor does their four-page list of rules address attire, with the exception of noting nudity below the waist is illegal in New York City.

Donohue is a fraud, a coward, and a blowhard.

Frankly, this latest stunt is an embarrassment to the Catholic Community he claims to represent and defend, and they should tell him to stop speaking for them.


If Bill Donohue — whose anti-gay views, comments, and attacks are beyond ugly — demands to be allowed to march in the NYC gay pride parade, and he’s welcomed, he should follow through, or be held up as a coward too afraid to walk the streets of New York with LGBT people by his side.