updated 2/14/2007 4:24:13 PM ET 2007-02-14T21:24:13

Followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement did not suffer discrimination when it was barred from marching in a Chinese New Year Parade funded by the city, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce excluded Falun Gong from last year’s parade and this year’s on March 3 because Falun Gong previously violated a ban on political activity.

Superior Court Judge Patrick Mahoney agreed with the Human Rights Commission’s conclusion that the business organization was within its rights to keep Falun Gong out of the parade.

The spiritual movement challenged the city’s funding of the event. The city contributes $77,000 of the parade’s $800,000 budget, plus police protection.

Falun Gong alleges that local Chinese businessmen are bowing to pressure from the Chinese government, which considers Falun Gong a dangerous cult and has banned the group.

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