The St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York has been mired in controversy this year. The focal point of the controversey is the right for LGBT groups to march in the parade. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is boycotting the parade, and there have been calls for An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny to boycott the parade also. Beer manufacturer Heineken has also weighed in the on the debate, a representative saying on Friday: “We believe in equality for all. We are no longer a sponsor of Monday’s parade.”
There has been some debate around the parade and what it stands for. It has been said it is a celebration of all things Irish. If it was truely a celebration of all things Irish, then LGBT groups would be allowed to March. It seems to me the New York City parade is a celebration of all things Irish Catholic. This is also apparent by the concerted drive in recent days to have the invite to the PSNI to march in the parade rescinded.
In 1991, the Irish Lesbian & Gay Organization in NYC applied to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They were refused. Instead, they marched with Mayor David Dinkins as guests of a local division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH.)
Spectators and other marchers showered ILGO, Mayor Dinkins and AOH Division 7 with abuse and a few projectiles. Mayor Dinkins compared the experience to walking in civil rights marches in Alabama. That’s what you’re seeing in this video.
Video contains strong homophobic language.