NEW YORK: Activists Call On NYPD To Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade
The world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place in Manhattan tomorrow and as always, gay groups are barred from participation. This year a coalition of LGBT groups are calling on the city's cops to boycott the parade. Via press release from Irish Queers:
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists today announced plans to protest NYPD participation in the New York City St. Patrick's Parade, which takes place this Thursday. The parade is touted by organizers as an explicitly “anti-gay, Catholic” event, and has been defined in court as a “private, religious procession” in order to preserve the right to exclude LGBT marchers. Protesters, organized by the group Irish Queers, contend that NYPD participation in such a parade is a violation of New York City's human rights code. "Year after year, we watch thousands of uniformed NYPD participate in this anti-gay march. It reinforces everything LGBT people already fear about police: we're not safe with them, they haven't rejected discrimination, and they won't object when someone else discriminates,” said J.F. Mulligan, who plans to protest with Irish Queers.A letter demanding that the NYPD not participate has been sent to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who has thus far ignored the message. Irish Queers and their allies will be protesting the parade from their annual position across from St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.