On October 23, Ku Klux Klan members held a “White Pride” rally in New York City. The Klansmen were forced to march without their hoods: a decision by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an 1845 statute in New York barring groups from congregating in public places in masks or disguises, except for authorized parties or entertainment, was constitutionally valid. There was also a counter-demonstration the same day by anti-KKK groups.

The Catholic League joined with several other groups in denouncing the KKK rally and formally supported the efforts of Assemblyman Scott Stringer to protest the Klan’s message of hate. On the same side with the Catholic League were such groups as the Simon Weisenthal Center, Jewish Political Action Committee, National Lawyers Guild, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party.

When the person who called from Assemblyman Stringer’s office learned that we would join with these groups, he was both stunned and delighted. But why wouldn’t we: the Klan is notoriously anti-Catholic, as well as anti-black and anti-Jewish.

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