Bill Donohue, the extremely anti-gay head of the Catholic League, seems to be losing his enthusiasm for marching in the New York City gay pride parade under a “Straight is Great” banner.
After declaring that Guinness beer should be boycotted for acting “like a corporate bully” for pulling out of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade over its homophobic policies, he attempted to get into NYC Pride with the aforementioned straight pride banner. Apparently, the plan backfired—because he was immediately accepted. The head of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, even asked to march with him as a “fellow Irish New Yorker.”
Now, Donohue seems to be trying everything he can to get out of it—short of being a grown-up and just saying he decided he’d rather not. In a March 20 interview with NewsMax TV, he claimed, “Their initial response was okay, you have to come to a training session… [and] people have to wear LGBT paraphernalia.
“Quite frankly as a straight guy, I don’t go to gay training sessions. I’m pretty much of an untrainable guy when it comes these things.” (One wonders what, precisely, he’s afraid such a session would train him in.)
He continued, “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.”
However, the organizers of the parade told The New Civil Rights Movement 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):
“As of [this] writing, neither Mr. Donohue nor the Catholic League have submitted registration for the 2014 NYC Pride March.”
As David Badash put it, “So, a safety training class to Bill Donohue is ‘gay training.’”
And as NYC Pride clarified, everything he said can be confirmed as a lie. In the group’s four-page list of rules for the parade, the closest thing to a dress code is a note that not wearing any clothes below the waist is against the law in New York City.
NYC Pride’s March Director, David Studinski, said “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,” according to GLAAD.
That last clause might pose another problem for Donohue, who is so notorious for homophobic comments that he has his own profile on GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project.
As The New Civil Rights Movement put it, “Mr. Dohohue, who has worked frantically for decades to impede the recognition of the LGBT community, is one of the most vocal critics of allowing gays to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It may surprise him that the gay community did not treat him with the same revulsion he regularly shows gays and lesbians.
“Mr. Donohue might recognize the LGBT response as ‘turning the other cheek.’ It is a tactic championed by his Jesus.”