NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Dr. Elizabeth Rex was recently informed by Mr. John Dunleavy, Chairman of The NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, that The Children First Foundation, a pro-adoption, charitable organization that has been seeking the approval of a pro-adoption New York State "Choose Life" License Plate since 2001, has been officially rejected.
In his letter dated January 22 (and received on January 28), Mr. Dunleavy returned Dr. Rex's Parade Application Forms and $200 Parade Application Fee that had been submitted to the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee over three months ago on October 17, 2014.
The only reason Mr. Dunleavy provided was that the "[parade] committee has selected a Right to Life group which will be led by the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Honor Guard." He also added that "Cardinal Dolan has been made aware of this."
Dr. Rex explained that her overall reaction to Mr. Dunleavy's letter was a positive one. "At least now a pro-life group will be included -instead of excluded - in the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade," she said.
The Parade Committee's historic decision to select a "pro-life group" finally fulfills the terms of the "compromise" that was first reported on September 3rd in the Wall Street Journal, that 'the organizers also will now let a 'pro-life' group march with a banner.'"
This is a highly significant turn of events, because the inclusion of a "pro-life group" in the 2015 Parade has been at least as controversial - if not more so - than the inclusion of a "gay group." For over 20 years both groups have been excluded until now.
At the Press Conference on September 3rd, Cardinal Dolan, the Parade's 2015 Grand Marshal, defended this Change in Policy by saying that we are all "God's children, deserving dignity and respect, never to be treated with discrimination or injustice."
Unfortunately, on September 10th, Dr. John Lahey, the Parade Committee's Vice-Chairman and President of Quinnipiac University, when asked by Irish Central about the inclusion of a "pro-life group," unexpectedly announced, "That won't be happening."
The next day, September 11th, Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, protested this exclusion of a pro-life group by withdrawing himself and the Catholic League from the 2015 Parade. In an excoriating email, Donohue carefully explained that his "reasons for withdrawing from the parade have nothing to do with Cardinal Dolan or with gays. It has to do with being betrayed by the parade committee. They not only told me one thing and did another, they decided to include a gay group that is neither Catholic nor Irish while stiffing pro-life Catholics. This is as stunning as it is indefensible."
Mr. Dunleavy has apparently prevailed in restoring the Committee's original Change in Policy. What still remains to be known, however, is crucial: which Right to Life group has been selected to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade; what will their group's banner say; and when will the Parade Committee make this important announcement