LGBTQ+ groups rejected from Staten Island St. Patrick’s Parade again

The Staten Island Parade is believed to be the only ​​parade marking St. Patrick’s Day to still ban LGBTQ+ groups from participating.

People marching in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with LGBTQ+ groups protesting on the said with a Pride flag with the word
Image: Via Twitter - @NewWaysMinistry

On Sunday, February 12, two local LGBTQ+ community groups were prevented from submitting an application to participate in this year’s Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Once again, this year, there will be no LGBTQ+ representation at the march.

The Staten Island Parade is believed to be the only march organised to mark St. Patrick’s Day that still excludes LGBTQ+ organisations from participating. The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade ended its ban on LGBTQ+ groups in 2014 and parades in Boston did the same last year.

When Pride Center of Staten Island and Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) showed up at the annual event to submit applications to participate in this year’s parade, they were denied the possibility to do so once again. Speaking to local news outlet SILive, executive director of the Pride Center of Staten Island, Carol Bullock, said that this was the fourth year in a row that their application was denied.

“The second year of my attempting to apply, all of the sudden, it became bold on the first page that no political agendas or sexual identification organizations could apply,” Bullock explained. “And I saw the same thing this year on the rules of the parade.”

The long-time organiser of the Parade, Larry Cummings, has refused to engage in dialogue with Bullock about the LGBTQ+ groups’ presence at the event. When Bullock and over a dozen supporters waving Pride and Irish flags arrived to submit their application, Cummings didn’t even let them in. “You represent a homosexual organization, get out,” Cummings told them, as Bullock claimed.

City Councilman Davis Carr, a gay Republican, commented on the episode on his Twitter account, saying: “Refusing @pridecenterSI , @GOALny & others admission to the parade for yet another year is wrong on its face, and the disgusting way in which they were treated as they tried to apply only adds insult to injury. Once again, I’ll be sitting this year’s parade out”.

Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is also refusing to attend this year’s parade due to the organisers’ exclusionary practices. Adams said, “This administration continues to fight alongside the LGBTQ+ community and is continuing that practice by serving all New Yorkers equally and fairly”.

“My office is reviewing how we can encourage greater inclusion in all our publicly permitted events, and we remain hopeful that the organizers will allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to participate,” he continued. “The mayor will not participate in the parade as long as those discriminatory practices continue.”

Pride Center of Staten Island stated that they will still make their presence felt at the parade and have asked spectators and local businesses to wear LGBTQ+ pins and wave Pride flags in solidarity.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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