Take Action: NYC Saint Patricks Day Parade sends Message of Hatred and

Take Action: NYC Saint Patricks Day Parade sends Message of Hatred and

Take Action: NYC Saint Patricks Day Parade sends Message of Hatred and

Take action and pass this message on.

-by Tommy News Thomas

Last year, Irish President Mary McAleese turned down an invitation to
be the Grand Marshal of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade. Irish
Central, the Irish Voice’s website, says it was because of the
parade’s explicit anti-gay stance. The parade now represents the same
intolerance and bigotry that the Irish immigrants have fought for over
two centuries.

A 1995 conservative U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed the private
sponsor of the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade to exclude a group of
gays and lesbians.
The 9-0 SCOTUS decision said that parades are a “form of expression”
protected by the First Amendment and that organizers could not be
compelled to include groups whose messages they did not favor. This
year, a second, inclusive parade will take place in Boston, following
a mile behind the first parade.

In New York, gays have again been banned from marching on the 17th.
For over 20 years the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which organizes the
parade, has barred LGBT and Irish gay groups from marching. The
Hibernians claim the parade is a private, religious procession in
order to to justify keeping LGBT groups out.
New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who has compared
homosexuality to alcoholism, has expressed his disapproval of marriage
equality and “homosexuals”.

However, public employees such as on duty uniformed police and
firefighters, public school employees and students, etc. and many
secular groups participate in the parade. Public funds are used for
setup, cleanup, security, etc. A private parade, can’t take public
money or allow public employees to participate.

Therefore, we must protest not only the discriminatory exclusion of
LGBT groups from the parade, but also the use of public funds and
employees. Any event that discriminates against people because of who
they are should not be publicly supported.

The inclusive St. Patrick’s Parade in Queens, held the weekend before
St. Patrick’s Day is the only one in the city that allows gay groups
to march openly. The other parades should be boycotted and protested.
Staten Island Pride was banned from the Staten Island St. Pat’s parade
last week, and gays are again banned from the big Hibernian parade on
Fifth Avenue this week.

We must protest as long as these homophobic and discriminatory
policies continue.
Openly lesbian New York City Speaker Christine Quinn said: “‘Don’t
Ask Don’t Tell’ has been repealed. The military is no longer
discriminating against LGBT people but yet parades in New York City
are. It baffles the mind.”

We insist the NYPD, NYFD, public schools, public agencies and
accomodation, sanitation, and all New Yorkers immediately stop
participation in the NYC St. Patrick’s Parade and any other such
explicitly anti-gay event. We protest.

From Irish Queers http://irishqueers.blogspot.com/

Irish Queers sent a letter to NY’s Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ,
calling for a withdrawal of uniformed NYPD contingents from the
homophobic NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Joining IQ in the letter were ACT UP-NY, the Jim Owles Liberal
Democratic Club, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn,
Metropolitan Community Church of NY, the NY Association for Gender
Rights Advocacy, OUTlaw (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law),
Queerocracy and SALGA-NYC, Serving the Desi Queer Community and the
LGBT Advisory Committee to the New York City Police Department.

Please join Irish Queers at our annual protest on March 17th on Fifth
Avenue between 56th and 57th street (on the west side) from 11am -
1pm.We’ll be there with signs and banners all we need is you!

For more information, send us an e-mail.


Take action and pass this message on.

GLBT Irish have again been forbidden to participate in a parade which
is supposed to celebrate their heritage and culture.
The Irish are a proud people, but they should be ashamed of this
parade and the hate it represents. The Supreme Court has ruled that
this parade is a private affair, but it is funded by public city and
government funds!

The parade now represents the same intolerance and bigotry that the
Irish immigrants have fought for over two centuries. We urge you all
to boycott the New York City parade, speak out, take action, and
Protest against this government and AOH funded bigotry, homophobia,
and intolerance and exclusion of GLBT people.
Urge the Irish not to participate until changes are made to include all people.

Contact any media outlets who broadcast the parade, including NBC.
Write to your newspapers and call your local radio and television stations.

Since GLBT Irish have been banned from the New York City St Patricks
Day Parade, all are urged to protest and boycott the parade, why not
look to the Emerald Isle, where everyone is welcome to march in the
I urge you to echo the fire and fight of the Irish spirit and get
involved in this struggle for tolerance and equality for all people
regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Lets echo the Irish motto of “Gentle When Stroked, but Fierce when Provoked”!
I urge you to take action today.

An alternative inclusive parade takes place in Queens, New York on an
earlier date, but we need to confront the sanctioned hatred at the big
parade on 5th Avenue.

Write, call, fax, and email government officials to voice your dismay
at this AOH and government sanctioned hatred and intolerance.
Demand that New York City deny next year’s parade permit unless all
groups who register to march are allowed.
Get contact information at www.congress.org

Contact New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg here:


Phone: (212) 639-9675
Fax: (212) 788-2460

City of New York City
1 Centre Street
New York City, NY 10007-1200

Contact New York Governor Andrew Cuomo here:


Albany Office:

State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224
Phone: (518) 486-4623
Fax: (518) 486-4170

Contact NBC and other Media here:



Website: www.msnbc.com/news
Phone: (212) 664-4444
Fax: (201) 583-5453
Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112

Contact the Ancient Order of Hibernians Here:

Greater Gospel Temple Aoh
2408 E 83rd St
Cleveland, OH 44104
(216) 231-6068


AOH President John Meehan Jr
[email protected]

New York City residents should call 311 and register a complaint.


To the Editor:
The New York St. Patrick’s Day still excludes queers – and in fact,
the organizers say that the message of their parade is explicitly
anti-gay, and religious (”Luck’s Forever Dublin,” by Winnie McCroy,
Mar. 6-12). In spite of the city’s anti-discrimination laws, uniformed
police, firefighters, and other city officials march under this
message. By contrast, the St. Pat’s for All parade March 2 in Queens
was a safe space for celebration of LGBT people’s important place in
Irish communities.

There, just about everyone who was asked signed pledge cards affirming
their boycott of the Fifth Avenue parade. Signers included Irish and
Irish-American community activists, labor leaders, and some elected
officials, as well as LGBT people of every stripe.

But we were disturbed to find some marchers at St. Pat’s for All,
including some elected officials, who planned to march in the
homophobic parade too. Electeds like Mayor Bloomberg have frequently
joined in both – claiming to support queers in Queens, and then
marching in the anti-gay – and much more public – Manhattan parade
alongside conservative, religious-right homophobes. It’s a shameful
trick, but it works for them as long as queers only notice what
happens in Queens, and homophobes focus on Fifth Avenue.

That’s why it’s so important for us to confront homophobia where it
still marches, at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan. The
parade is a major political and cultural event, broadcast nationally.
The message of hate it carries matters very much. At least three queer
youth have already been killed this year by other kids who were taught
to fear them, and religious vitriol is gaining acceptance around the
country. To challenge the systemic homophobia that’s still wreaking
violence on our communities, we have to leave our safe spaces and
confront homophobes in the spaces they control.

All are welcome to join Irish Queers in protest at the NYC St.
Patrick’s Day parade – March 17th, 11a.m. at 57th Street and Fifth
Emmaia Gelman
JF Mulligan
For Irish Queers


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