The state Supreme Court has rejected Falun Gong's challenge to the decision by Chinese American business leaders in San Francisco to exclude the dissident spiritual movement from the annual Chinese New Year parade and street fair.
The court unanimously denied review Wednesday of a lower-court ruling that concluded the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, as sponsor of the events, was entitled to bar anyone who would interfere with its message.
The business group has cited Falun Gong's opposition to the Chinese government in denying it a place in the parade and a booth at the street fair and flower market for most of this decade. Randy Riddle, a layer for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday the chamber excludes any would-be participant with a political message, regardless of its contents.
In its lawsuit, filed in 2006, Falun Gong acknowledged that its attempt to take part in the parade was foreclosed by a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing sponsors of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston to exclude a group of gay, lesbian and bisexual descendants of Irish immigrants.
But Falun Gong argued that the high court's reasoning - that a parade is a type of free expression - shouldn't apply to a commercial event such as the street fair and flower market.
A state appeals court disagreed in June, noting that the street fair includes cultural performances and that the flower market begins with a small parade.