Main | Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Gays? No Way! Ireland's President Turns Down NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Irish President Mary McAleese has turned down an offer to be the grand marshal of NYC's 250th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade over the event's long-running ban on LGBT participation.
Efforts at a compromise where President McAleese could attend the gay-organized, all-inclusive St. Patrick’s parade in Queens on the weekend before March 17, and then march in the actual Fifth Avenue parade the Thursday following, also failed because the president could not remain in New York for such a long period of time. Marching in the Queens parade as well as the Fifth Avenue one also has been the way most major U.S. politicians, such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have handled the issue in recent years. McAleese’s refusal to accept the grand marshal invite will come as major blow to parade officials who were intent on making the day an historic showcase. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is now being considered a likely replacement. Despite a reputation as a conservative Catholic when she took office, McAleese has become a firm advocate for marginalized groups in Irish societies including gay groups.
Thank you, President McAleese!

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