Friday, March 17, 2006

Out NY City Council Pol Boycotts Anti-Gay Parade

(Link) For the 16th straight (pardon the pun) year, organizers of NYC's St Patrick's Day parade have banned LGBT groups, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is boycotting them back. "I can't deny who I am any given day."

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
Associated Press Writer

The city's first openly gay City Council leader said Thursday she plans to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade because organizers barred Irish gays and lesbians from joining the festivities for a 16th straight year. 'I can't deny who I am on any given day,' said Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

She said she will attend several pre-parade breakfasts, along with Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, but will not join the 150,000 marchers Friday on Fifth Avenue.

Quinn, who took office in January, said attempts at brokering a deal with the Ancient Order of Hibernians for the 245th parade fell through. The city's Irish gays had long hoped to march behind their own banner, like other groups.

The fight to let Irish gays march under their own banner dates to 1991, when parade organizers first rejected an application from the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization. The organizers said they wanted to keep politics out of the event.

Instead, 35 members marched with a Manhattan division of the Hibernians and then-Mayor David Dinkins. The group was sprayed with beer and insults as it walked up Fifth Avenue. That was its last appearance in the parade.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will march Friday, again urged the Hibernians to change their stance on letting the gay contingent in.

'I've always believed this is a city where all the parades should be open to everybody, and orientation, gender ... should not be the deciding thing,' Bloomberg said.

Calls to the office of the Manhattan parade committee were not returned on Thursday as final preparations were made for the event, which draws up to 2 million spectators.