Gays Will March in the St. Patrick's Day Parade

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Protesters picketed the exclusion of LGBT groups at the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2014. Protesters picketed the exclusion of LGBT groups at the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2014. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Parade organizers announced yesterday that a gay group will march under an official banner in this years St. Patrick's day parade (Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the grand marshall of the parade). Why now, what led to the decision, and is it mere coincidence that the first group to gain acceptance is affiliated with major broadcaster and corporate sponsor NBC? Niall O'Dowd of and The Irish Voice discusses the decision, and long-time parade protester Allen Roskoff, President of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, a gay rights group, talks about how 2014 will be different.

Comments [8]


Just to quibble, 2014 parade was 6 months ago.

Sep. 04 2014 12:58 PM
J. F. Mulligan from Harlem

Irish LGBT groups are invited to apply in 2016 is not progress. I remember this sham from the 1990's when ILGO (Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization) would apply to march and the parade committee wouldn't even accept the mail! Progress would be if this was an open process. Will the NBC employees group even be allowed to have the words lesbian, gay and transgender on the banner? More importantly why aren't Irish/Irish American LGBT groups allowed to march?

Sep. 04 2014 11:16 AM
LGNY from Brooklyn NY

A non-Irish gay group from the broadcaster is some very screwball internal politics, shame on the deal makers and shame on any politicians or beer sponsors who return to this event based on yesterday's announcement. St Pats For All, ILGO and IrishQueers have applied for years to this parade - they deserve an apology and an invitation. OUT@NBCUniversal might want to reconsider being used as a pawn.

Sep. 04 2014 10:54 AM
Margaret from Queens

It's a natural generational shift, too. In the 1990's I recall a co-worker who was a friend of Mairead Corrigan saying that the AOH/parade committee was led by a "crusty old gent" locked in time and attitude. That was 20 years ago. There is new blood in the planning committee with different life experience and points of view.

Sep. 04 2014 10:45 AM
Mia from Manhattan

Here's the lovely 2014 Rose of Tralee, Philadelphia resident Maria Walsh:

As the last caller just mentioned, a few days after being crowned, Walsh revealed that she was gay and while it made the news in Ireland, no one batted an eyelash.

Ireland also has a huge gay icon, Panti Bliss.

Sep. 04 2014 10:42 AM
Mia from Manhattan

It's taken forever to get this far, but at least it's a start. I think the parade organizers can still save face by letting this group be the 1st one to be admitted to the parade, and THEN, from here forward - between now and March 17, 2015 - let them admit the rest of the groups that apply.

Sep. 04 2014 10:36 AM
Liam from Brooklyn

Hope Allen Roskoff has some strong stuff. Keep the boycott going till ALL Irish cultural and arts gay groups are welcomed, like the one in Queens.

Sep. 04 2014 10:32 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It has to be said that this doesn't mean any change in the Church's teaching, of course, but the Church's teaching was being misunderstood, so they are taking a different approach.

Sep. 04 2014 10:24 AM

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