I’m posting this story here because I just love it so much.
So the Catholic League is an organization established to “defend the Catholic Church,” headed by a man named Bill Donohue. Like most Christian advocacy groups, the Catholic League interprets “defending their religion and civil rights” as imposing their beliefs on other people, and claiming they’re harmed any time a person or group of people choose not to be Catholic. Probably because there’s no need to defend something that isn’t being attacked, but I digress.
This year, a few beer companies pulled their sponsorships of the Saint Patrick’s Day parades in New York City and Boston because the parades don’t LGBT people to march. [Those beer companies, by the way, are Guinness, Sam Adams, and Heineken. Hooray for them! Buy more of their products. I would, but I don’t think my apartment can hold any more beer.] LGBT marchers have been banned by Saint Patrick’s Day parade organizers for decades, by the way.
In response to the boycott, the Catholic League sprung into action. Remember, not endorsing Christianity is attacking it. Bill Donohue had a brilliant idea to call attention to the hypocrisy of the LGBT community: He would attempt to register the Catholic League for New York City’s Pride Parade in June. Their float would be dedicated to “straight pride,” with signs like “STRAIGHT IS GREAT,” a huge wedding cake featuring a heterosexual couple [transgressive!] and assorted other pro-straight paraphernalia.
This was a brilliant idea, you see, because the Pride Parade organizers were sure to reject them, and that would be discrimination against straight people, and what a bunch of hypocrites, amirite?
…except of course the Pride organizers did not reject the Catholic League or their “Straight is Great” float, because unlike the Christians who run the Saint Patrick’s Day parades, the LGBT community does not require all participants to march in lock-step. [Except the color guard. They’re pretty tightly choreographed.] I mean, the whole idea of this parade is to celebrate people’s differences. About the only belief everyone in the LGBT community is expected to share is a belief in tolerance and respect toward people who aren’t like you.
With his float accepted, Bill Donohue was at a bit of a loss. At first he claimed he couldn’t attend because he had a conflict that day. Then he found a way to return to his original talking point. See, to participate in the Pride Parade, someone from the Catholic League would have to attend a briefing at which they would pick up their parade permit and learn some of the logistics of the parade, like where to line up and what time they would begin marching.
Bill Donohue labeled this a “gay training session” [No I am not making this up] and declared Pride organizers hypocrites for imposing requirements on participants in their parade while not respecting requirements imposed on participants in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade–specifically, the requirement that gay people not be allowed to participate at all.
Hey, I guess Bill can try again on National Coming Out Day. Seems more appropriate for him, anyway.
Mummers Parade image from Flickr user Sarcasmo, used under Creative Commons license.