The Catholic League applauds today’s decision (Hurley vs. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston) by the U.S. Supreme Court to sustain the right of the South Boston Allied War Veteran’s Council to determine who should be permitted to march in Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The Catholic League, which had initially filed an amicus brief in the case, has been watching the case closely and is delighted by the decision.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued the following comments regarding the parade:

“This Supreme Court decision is a victory not only for Irish Catholics, it is a victory for all those who believe in free speech and freedom of association. Every racial, ethnic and religious group that wants to maintain the integrity of its heritage has a right to insulate its parades from those who would insult and degrade its culture.  This decision will also do much to provide for public order by limiting the rights of those who would use their rights to abuse the rights of others .

“This victory comes at a most opportune time.  On Sunday, June 25,  New York’s Gay Pride Parade is scheduled to begin just one block north of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Gays have every right to march, but they have no right to parade naked through the streets, provoke Catholics with their obscenities and engage in acts of aggravated harassment.  It is hoped that the New York gay leadership will receive this decision by the Supreme Court in a responsible manner and do nothing to inflame religious bigotry.”

The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization.  It defends the right of Catholics–lay and clergy alike–to participate in American life without defamation or discrimination.

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