Bill Donohue
Image via The Catholic League

Friday, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League wants to embarrass gay men with the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. According to Donohue:

Every year, San Francisco celebrates the Folsom Street Fair, traditionally held the last weekend in September. It is a mass gathering of naked homosexual men, some of whom submit to beating each other in the street with chains and other metal devices. This is regarded as a demonstration in tolerance.

The Fair is, in fact, a BDSM event. However, BDSM is practiced mostly by heterosexual people and most gay men are not involved in the leather subculture. According to a 2005 Durex survey, 36% of adults in the United States use masks, blindfolds, and bondage tools during sex. That’s more kink than the entire gay community would be capable of.

The Fair is not my cup of tea but my tastes are irrelevant and so are Bill’s. Donohue is trying to imply that gay men are irresponsible perverts. The Catholic league has become an anti-LGBT hate group and Donohue devotes a considerable amount of time to defaming LGBT people.

Donohue mentions tolerance because the word displeases him. To Donohue tolerance means that Catholics cannot discriminate in spite of religious disapproval of LGBT people. Oh, the poor dear.

Mr. Donohue has also been victimized:

Image via Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

The Folsom Street Fair also features a heady dose of Catholic bashing. Usually, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence show up, but they are not listed on the event calendar this year. No matter, the bigotry they represent will be given high profile on September 29 at the CumUnion Parties.

Donohue is too easily offended. The Sisters are using satire to highlight religious intolerance on the part of the Catholic Church and they have been doing so for almost 40 years. Contrary to medical science the Church still teaches young people that gays are “disordered.” That judgment provides justification for anti-gay discrimination worldwide that is so vast in scale as to be impossible to fully comprehend.

The Sisters, by the way, gives away about half of what it raises each year (revenues were about  $130,000 in 2016). There are no paid employees and no extraneous expenses to the benefit of anyone. Contrast that to the Catholic League which gives away about 5% of its revenues and provides Donohue with over $500,000 annually. Donohue, by the way, is divorced which does tend to tarnish the Super-Catholic Man image.

Let’s visit New Orleans:

Mardi Gras is a Catholic event. It begins on the first Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) on, or after, Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day). It concludes the day before Ash Wednesday.

Many women bear their breasts in order to receive strings of beads from people on the floats. Walking can be treacherous. One has to avoid the puddles of vomit deposited by the brothers of over-indulgence.

Funny thing is that I have never seen Donohue complain about Mardi Gras. Nor does Peter LaBarbera (the Folsom Street Fair is also one of Pete’s obsessions). There is more open nakedness at Mardi Gras than anything at Folsom Street. The reason is quite simple. The Folsom Street Fair provides an opportunity to unfairly disparage gay people. Mardi Gras? Not so much.

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.