Irish groups and NYC Officials will continue to boycott the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade this year due to their ban on LGBT groups.
Last year both Guinness and Heineken pulled advertising from the parade due to the recurrent discrimination against LGBT groups who were not allowed to march.
At the time, the Irish drink manufacturer made a statement saying,“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh both boycotted their cities’ parades as a form of protest against the anti-LGBT discrimination.
Community groups and elected officials will reaffirm the boycott of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2015. Groups and officials have called for Irish LGBT groups to be allowed to march under their own banners on the same terms as other groups; and have pledged to boycott until then.
Today, February 16, on the steps of New York’s City Hall, a group will gather to show their disappointment in the parade’s organisers and will support another year’s boycott of the parade, until the LGBT ban is lifted.
Last year, the Mayor’s boycott and the withdrawal of several corporate sponsors drew widespread attention, and pressure mounted on NBC, a remaining sponsor. Last September, parade organisers and NBC revealed a backroom deal in which NBC’s gay employee group would be admitted to the parade, but no Irish LGBT groups would be allowed. The ban on Irish LGBT groups remains in place.
Taosieach Enda Kenny still attended last year’s NYC parade, much to the chagrin of Irish LGBT groups, however Tánaiste Joan Burton decided to boycott the celebrations saying, “It’s a great, fun day, but to me it needs to be inclusive of the whole Irish cultural experience and the whole width and breadth and diversity of Irish people, and descendants of Irish people who have gone to the United States.”
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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