The ever-controversial St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday in New York City, this year, as planned. But while it will not be marked with any demonstrations or marches, many of the organization’s LGBTQ members won’t be attending.
The parade, which began in 1762, has long been a target of gay rights protesters, who criticize its exclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) people from marching. This year marks the 223rd.
LGBTQ groups can’t lead the march, although marches and contingents headed by groups — including gay rights groups such as [email protected] — have marched in the past.
“Because the organizers of the parade do not want any degree of intersectionality, the parade has never included a visible LGBTQ group of people marching under a banner of anything,” said Ty Cobb, executive director of the Lavender and Green Alliance, an organizer of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, to ABC News. “We could read a banner and it would still be an exclusion.”
Groups that accept the St. Patrick’s Day Parade ban on gay men and women have to fill out an application that requires them to say whether they “support and/or reject institutional, individual or political positions that differ from the central ethos of the organization.”
The New York City Council, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were among the politicians who spoke out against the ban.
Reverend Billy, a former candidate for the presidency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, said the parade should be used to acknowledge all religions, and added that “for centuries,” “there has been a war for the religious freedom of the entire planet, with a huge effort involved in ‘pharaonic’ (explosive) and military-style spread of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions.”
parades in New York still exclude gay people!— as it should be.The world is LGBTE.Get over it. pic.twitter.com/cAnbE61Oaw — Center Point () February 26, 2016
Watch “Our Lady of the Woodland,” a track by the Jewish punk rock group Pussy Riot, below to hear some of the anti-St. Patrick’s Day protests: