NY's Empire State Building says 'no' to Mother Teresa | world | Hindustan Times
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NY's Empire State Building says 'no' to Mother Teresa

world Updated: Jun 09, 2010 10:11 IST
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New York City's Empire State Building said "yes" to Mariah Carey, dog shows, cancer charities - and even the 60th anniversary of communist China.

But the landmark skyscraper's owners have declined to illuminate it in honour of the late Mother Teresa.

"They're bigots! They have an animus against Catholics!" Catholic League President Bill Donohue said on Tuesday.

He said his lay advocacy group requested that the building glow on August 26 for the centennial of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner's birth. The request was denied in an unsigned, faxed letter, Donohue said, "and they never gave an explanation."

He said Empire State Building officials were "stonewalling" not only the Catholic League, but also the media and members of New York's City Council.

Now, another prominent New York Catholic is voicing her outrage.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that she spoke yon Tuesday with Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin.

Although the real estate mogul was "very professional" and said he "would reflect on the points I made," she said, he didn't give her a satisfactory answer.

She said the answer should be "Yes to Mother Teresa."

Telephone messages left for building spokeswoman Melanie Maasch were not returned on Tuesday. The telephone at Malkin Holdings, Malkin's Manhattan-based company, rang unanswered on Tuesday afternoon.

In New York, Mother Teresa helped open a pioneering hospice for AIDS patients in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

"Her impact on the world was so much greater than one religious group," Quinn said.

Although she's Catholic, the Democratic City Council speaker has often disagreed with the religiously traditional League on issues such as gay marriage. Quinn is openly gay.

But when it comes to the iconic skyscraper and the ethnic Albanian nun who worked in India, she backs the League.

Illuminating the 102-story high-rise on Fifth Avenue in different colours to mark an important date, cause or personality is a New York tradition. The building is colour-decorated for religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah and other special occasions.