Tuesday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is still being protested by gay activists, many city politicians, and even Mayor Bill de Blasio, despite the inclusion of Out@NBCUniversal. The NBC group, activists say, is not representative of the Irish LGBT community -- and the whole point of the years of protests was to get the ban on Irish gays and lesbians lifted. But at least the NBC peacock has the Rainbow Flag embedded.
THE CONTROVERSY in SEVEN QUESTIONS
Wasn’t the ban on gays marching in the St. Patrick’s Day ended?
Officially. Yes. The organizer the world’s oldest largest parade honoring Catholic St. Patrick, said in September 2014 that they would no longer ban gay groups from participating -- or carrying a banner of their choosing. The New York Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) first petitioned the group to end the ban in 1990.
Wasn’t a gay group chosen to march?
Yes. Out@NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual employee resource group, was chosen to march -- the only gay-tied group selected.
And didn’t companies that boycotted it rejoin the parade?
Indeed. The makers of Heineken and Guinness both said they were back. “We are glad to see the parade organizers have taken initial steps to be more inclusive and we expect this to be just the beginning of their efforts to create greater equality in the parade and a more diverse celebration in the years to come,” Heineken spokeswoman Tara Rush said.