Falun Gong loses legal challenge
of San Francisco discrimination
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
February 15, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A spiritual group banned in China
lost a legal battle to march in San Francisco's Chinese New Year
Parade after a Superior Court judge stuck with a tentative ruling
Wednesday that invalidates their lawsuit.
Members of Falun Gong had been pursuing legal channels to either
force the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to allow them in the annual
parade or to get the city to stop funding the parade with taxpayer
The city attorney had filed a motion to dismiss the case based
on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that defends the right of parade
organizers to include or exclude whoever they choose.
The case -- Hurley v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual
Group of Boston -- sets a precedent that allows a private association
to run a parade however they choose, according to Matt Dorsey
with the city attorney's office.
Judge Patrick Mahoney's ruling means the court did not find that
the Falun Gong lawsuit could reasonably win in court. Lawyers
said they plan to appeal the ruling.
Sherry Zhang, an organizer with the group, said Wednesday that
the ruling was hard to accept and it just shows how difficult
it is for the group to gain acceptance in a city with such strong
ties to mainland China.
Falun Gong practitioners are expected to gather at this year's
March 3 parade anyway, Zhang said.
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