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Hundreds of Irish LGBTs and Straight Allies Protest NYC’s St. Patricks Day Parade

Hundreds of Irish LGBT’s and straight allies took to the sidewalks dodging spectators and drunks in protest of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade yesterday on 5th Avenue for the 21st year protesting the parades exclusion of Irish LGBT groups and also calling out the NYPD’s participation in the event.

In a statement, Irish Queers writes:

…when uniformed police march in that private, religious, anti-gay procession year after eyar, they reinforce everything LGBT people already fear: that we’re only ‘served and protect’ if individual police officers happen not to be homophobic; that the NYPD as a whole has not rejected discrimination; and that the default position of the NYPD is that queers can be targeted for discrimination unless someone notices and complains.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers make clear from the start it religious connections on its website, which states that “throughout our history, the Parade has been held in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York.” which has been behind the exclusion of LGBT participants for decades.

Richard Conway, a Dublin transplant and writer for the The Guardian points out the parade committees “personal and religious bigotry” and how its attitude does not reflect present-day Ireland

What this committee might be ignoring is a simple fact about modern Ireland: It’s okay with gay stuff. Recent surveys have shown that a significant majority of Irish people approve of gay marriage, with a 2012 poll showing that 73% approve of gay marriage being allowed in the country’s constitution. Civil unions have been legal in Ireland since 2010, and received all-party support. And, notably, the Dublin St Patrick’s Day parade has regularly included gay-themed floats.

So in a nutshell three old men on the St Paddy’s Day Parade Committee bow to the Archdiocese of New York and doing so are responsible for 21 years of LGBT discrimination in a parade, that to be honest is nothing more than an excuse to party and get blackout drunk all because Saint Patrick led the snakes out of Ireland and obviously led them to New York where they now sit on the parade committee.

Photos: Joe My God

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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