On Sunday, Guinness Beer announced that it was dropping its sponsorship of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade over the event’s long-running exclusion of LGBT groups. That move prompted an immediate outcry from anti-gay groups, the loudest of which has been the NYC-based Catholic League, whose leader Bill Donohue yesterday demanded permission for his group to march in the 2014 NYC Pride March behind a banner that would read, “Straight Is Great.” In a letter provided to JMG today, Heritage Of Pride, the organizers of the NYC Pride March, agreed to Donohue’s demand.
From Heritage Of Pride’s response:
“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,” said David Studinski, March Director of NYC Pride. Chris Frederick, Managing Director of NYC Pride, added, “Straight allies are great. We have thousands of straight people participating in the Pride March, including Catholic groups, who support LGBT youth, families and married couples.” GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project provided background information on Bill Donohue’s recent statements on LGBT people. On February 27, 2014, Donohue gave a video interview with World Over with Raymond Arroyo in which he stated, “If I wanted to get into their gay pride parade with my own float with big banners saying ‘straight is great,’ they would have a right to feel put-upon and I wouldn’t do that to them.”
The letter goes on to note the Catholic League’s long-standing opposition to LGBT rights.
Mr. Donohue has been an outspoken opponent of legal recognition of LGBT people, loving LGBT families, the science of sexual orientation and HIV/AIDS education. He continually refers to marriage equality as “crazy” and “one of the most bizarre ideas in human history,” and he has equated the marriage equality movement with the “minority of people in South Africa who took away the rights of Black people;” insists “we’re not going to allow gay people to adopt children, that’s against nature, it’s against nature’s God;” champions a program called Courage, which tells LGBT people that a chaste, celibate life is the only acceptable option; and on multiple occasions, Mr. Donohue has referred to AIDS as “self-inflicted” and due to going against “natural order.”
For further examples of anti-gay statements by Catholic League head Bill Donohue, visit the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project at this link. Embiggen the above letter from Heritage Of Pride to read their response in full. The letter is also available for download at the JMG Scribd account. Donohue has not yet responded to the decision by Heritage Of Pride. When he does, that reaction will be added as an update to this post.