The one-gay-group-only Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade has Cardinal Timothy Dolan leading it.
Now, the inclusive Queens St. Pat’s for All Parade this Sunday in Sunnyside has itself a Kennedy.
Kerry Kennedy, the activist ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a daughter of assassinated presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy, will join actor Brían F. O’Byrne as co-grand marshal.
FLASHBACK: Metro’s 2014 Coverage of St. Pat’s for All.
It’s a major coup for the group, founded by activists to counter the traditional parade’s longtime ban on gays marching in the parade under their own banner.
Kerry Kennedy heads the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights .
“We've come a long way when it comes to gay rights. Unfortunately, the exclusion of the LGBT community from the St. Patrick's Day Parade has become an annual reminder of how far we still have to go,” she told Metro.
“I hope people will choose to come to the St. Pat's For All Parade instead.”
— Kerry Kennedy (@KerryKennedyRFK) February 27, 2015
Mayor Bill de Blasio is still considering whether to march in the March 17 Manhattan parade, which officially ended its ban on gays last year and will let one gay group, of NBCUniversal employees, march this year.
Activists say the Manhattan parade, run by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, needs to do more and that the NBC group’s inclusion is a gimmick.
De Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are expect at this Sunday’s March 1 parade which begins at 43rd St. & Skillman Ave. with assembly and remarks at 1p.m. and parade step-off at 2 p.m. It ends at 56th and Skillman.
Getting there, however, is going to prove difficult for some because of 7 line work that will shut down service between Times Square 42nd Street and 74th Street-Broadway in Queens.
“The MTA adjusted their work schedule to accommodate the Lunar Parade in Flushing, and this is, of course, right,” parade founder and co-chair Brendan Fay told 1010 WINS. “We’re just baffled by the fact that they’re refusing to treat St. Pat’s for All likewise.”
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told 1010 WINS that the Lunar Festival attracts far more people, justifying the shutdown then, but “the (St. Pat’s for All) event simply does not draw enough ridership to warrant a delay in this vital work that we need to do.”
His suggested alternative, 1010 WINS reports, is this: “Customers can hop on the Q32 bus. They can hop on the Q60 bus. These two lines provide direct access to the parade route,” Ortiz said. “Customers can also take the R train to 46th Street, transfer for the Q104 bus, which also puts them right in front of the parade.”