By: Irish Queers
March 03, 2015
We are heartened that Mayor Bill de Blasio gets that the inclusion of NBC’s corporate gay group in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is, as he said on Sunday, “too small a change to merit a lot of us participating who have wanted to see an inclusive parade.” To end the 24-year boycott of the parade the organizers need to include identifiable Irish LGBTQ groups—who have long been welcomed in St. Patrick’s Day parades in Ireland. We are angered but not surprised that Guinness, which had long sponsored the exclusionary parade, is back in as a sponsor after a one-year hiatus.
We are appreciative that our allies—from elected officials such as Council Speaker Melisssa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to grassroots organizers and groups such as the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club to big LGBTQ advocacy organizations including GLAAD, the Empire State Pride Agenda, and the Anti-Violence Project—have held strong against the parade committee’s effort to divide us by admitting the NBC group.
Our message to the parade organizers is simple: Embrace your own. End the ban. Let us march with our people as who we are.
We urge Mayor de Blasio to hold fast and help end this exclusion once and for all. We will continue to boycott the parade until then and will once again protest the parade on March 17 on Fifth Avenue and W. 57th St. if a just resolution is not reached.