An association of Falun Gong members filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop San Francisco from funding the Chinese New Year Parade, alleging that the money is being used to support religious discrimination.
The city’s Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which manages the annual parade, is prohibiting members of the Falun Gong spiritual group from marching, citing a ban on political activity that Chamber officials say Falun Gong members have violated in the past.
The city provides $77,000 of the parade’s annual budget of more than $800,000, as well as police and other services during the Feb. 11 event.
In its Superior Court lawsuit, the U.S. Western Falun Dafa Association contends the chamber excluded its members because local business leaders have strong ties to China, which has banned Falun Gong as a cult.
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