Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Not breaking news: Bigoted old cranky alcoholic Hibernians still won't let gays into their parade in NYC. Drunken, green beer-vomiting leprechauns are okay, though.
Anger under the surface at St. Patrick’s parade
Celebration’s chairman compares gay Irish-American activists to neo-Nazis
NEW YORK - The bagpipe bands bellowed as usual up Fifth Avenue. The sidewalks overflowed as they always do with spirited spectators. The avenue was awash in Irish green: carnations, shamrocks, hats and even hair.
Meanwhile, a more recent St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition — the ongoing clash between parade organizers and gay-rights groups — burned a little hotter, thanks to anti-gay comments this week by the event’s chairman.
John Dunleavy, in remarks to The Irish Times, compared the parade’s ban on gays marching under their own banner to an Israeli parade keeping out neo-Nazis, or blacks excluding the Ku Klux Klan. Referring to the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, he also said, “If we let the ILGO in, is it the Irish Prostitute Association next?”
The remarks drew the wrath of scores of protesters who have long been angered that the parade has not been inclusive of gays.
“The comments bring to the forefront a longstanding bigotry,” said graduate student Emmaia Gelman, 31, who hoisted a sign that read, “Troops Out, Queers in” — a reference to military groups participating in the parade.