NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade is making more headlines.
A week after Organizers of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade announced that they are ending a ban and allowing a gay group to march under its own banner for the first time, the president of the Catholic League said his group will not march in the parade.
The Catholic League has marched in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 20 years.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said the decision was based on not having a pro-life group march and issued the following statement Thursday:
“Prior to the announcement that a gay group would march under its own banner in the 2015 parade, I was consulted by parade organizers about their plans. I told them that I could only support this decision if there were a formal revision in the parade’s rules governing marching units, and that is exactly what I said in my first public statement. To be specific, I asked them to pledge that a pro-life Catholic group would also be permitted. I was told that a formal change in the rules had been approved and that a pro-life group would march. Now I am being told that the list of marching units is set and that no pro-life group will march in next year’s parade. Accordingly, I have decided to withdraw our participation.”
“I was told that one would be selected, just as the gay group was selected. Well they chose to select the gay group and stiff the pro-lifers, that’s why I’m saying enough is enough,” Donohue said.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Donohue said he’s been double-crossed by the parade committee, calling the committee’s actions “stunning” and “indefensible.”
“I am angry. And I’m disappointed. I look forward to this parade all the time. I don’t mind taking the heat defending them for 20 years. I do feel like I’ve been betrayed, that I’ve been used by some people,” he said.