The Catholic League announced Thursday
that it would not participate in next year's St. Patrick's Day Parade
in New York City.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue
said the group has been marching in the nation's oldest and largest
St. Patrick's Day Parade for 20 years.
Donohue said the decision to sit out
the parade stems from the exclusion of an anti-abortion group. The
announcement came on the heels of the news that a gay group for the
first time will march under its own banner in next year's parade.
“For the past two decades I have been
the parade's most vocal defender of its rules,” Donohue said in a
statement. “Repeatedly, I have said that gays have no more been
banned from marching than pro-life Catholics have.”
A vocal opponent of gay rights, Donohue
in February claimed he's opposed to New York's law allowing gay and
lesbian couples to marry because marriage
is not about love.