LGBTQ+ groups banned again from Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade

Organisers of Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade have denied once again LGBTQ+ organisations the opportunity to march in the annual Parade.

A group of LGBTQ+ people celebrating Staten Island Pride
Image: Via Twitter @RainbowRunSI

Staten Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade organisers have yet again said no to including LGBTQ+ groups to take part in their much anticipated event which is scheduled to take place on March 6.

The decision was made on Sunday February 20, when LGBTQ+ groups  Pride Center of Staten Island, The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) and Fireflag attended a parade sign-up session at Holy Family Church in Staten Island.

Upon arriving the event, the organisations were denied the chance to sign-up by Larry Cummings, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade long-time organiser. According to Cummings, LGBTQ+ groups have no place in the borough’s St. Patrick’s Day gathering.

In an interview with Gay City News, Pride Center Executive Director Carol Bullock details her experience “I handed (Cummings) the application and he said, ‘I don’t want that,” she later states “the minute we walked in, I could see his body language. My board member Alex Carr walked over to introduce himself, tried to shake Larry’s hand, and Larry said ‘I’m not shaking your hand’.

The Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day gathering is known for being one of the biggest parades in New York. Many political leaders are known to attend this event but in recent years, its stance on allowing LGBTQ+ contingents has caused some representatives to sit the event out.

The parade application justifies the exclusion of LGBTQ+ groups as ‘promotion of sexual identification agendas’: “The parade is not to be used for and will not allow political or sexual identification agendas to be promoted. this parade is for the celebration of St. Patrick and of Irish heritage.”

The last parade took place in 2020 and had a similar controversy take place. Joseph Borelli, a Republican minority political leader of the New York City Council was thrown out of the event for wearing a pride flag on his lapel in sign of support to the local Pride Center.

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