Following the news that the Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade organisers have refused the Pride Center of Staten Island to march under their own banner, there has been a backlash from local politicians.
This is the second time the Pride Center of Staten Island have applied to march and the second time The Ancient Order of Hibernians have refused them. The Hibernian’s president, Larry Cummings, said, “Our parade is for Irish heritage and culture. It is not a political or sexual identification parade.”
Cummings also said that the Pride Center’s banner “promoted the homosexual lifestyle”, continuing that it would go “against the tenets of the Catholic Church.”
The Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day parade’s continued efforts to deny @pridecenterSI the opportunity to march is blatantly homophobic and a stain on our city.
— Jumaane Williams (@JumaaneWilliams) February 19, 2019
James Oddo, the borough president, shared on social media that he would not march in the parade: “I wanted to, and thought I could reconcile my call for inclusion with still marching, but internally I cannot.”
The district’s Democratic congressman, Max Rose, joined Oddo in his decision saying, “I struggled with how to support our LGBTQ community while still honoring our Island’s rich Irish heritage, but for me I cannot march while the @pridecenterSI is still excluded.”
Andrew Cuomo, New York governor, shared his support of the Pride Center on Twitter.
New York is the State of love.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 22, 2019
In the main New York City parade, LGBT+ groups have been allowed to march since a ban was lifted in 2015.
This year’s parade describes itself as a St Patrick’s Day for all, featuring as it will many LGBT+ groups. The march will see the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band, the Lavender and Green Alliance, Dignity NY and Pride For Youth all proudly taking part.
This year, the Lavender and Green Alliance celebrates its 25th anniversary, while group St Pat’s For All celebrates its 20th. The latter was formed in 1999 when the exclusion of the Lavender and Green Alliance from all other Irish parades inspired a multicultural celebration of Irish heritage in the borough of Queens.
Co-chair, Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, said: “St Pat’s For All welcomes Irish immigrants and all the immigrant communities in Queens to celebrate our shared history of immigration. We especially remember the children at our border who have been separated from their families and continue to wait for justice and humane treatment.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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