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Gay group to march in NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Organizers of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade say they're ending a ban and allowing a gay group to march under its own banner for the first time.

The prohibition on identified gay groups in the centuries-old New York parade had made participation a political issue. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march this year, and Guinness beer dropped its sponsorship.

The parade committee, in a statement made available to The Associated Press, said on Wednesday that OUT(at)NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group at the company that broadcasts the parade, would be marching up Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on March 17 under an identifying banner.

It's unclear how the group was chosen: whether OUT(at)NBCUniversal, which is described on its website as "the affinity group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at NBCUniversal," was invited by the organizers or applied. Parade directors voted unanimously to include the group, the statement said.

Other gay groups can apply to march in future years, spokesman Bill O'Reilly said.

In the past, organizers said gays were free to march but only with other groups and not with banners identifying them as gay. Most marching units in the parade carry identifying banners. There are about 320 units in next year's parade, the committee said.

The committee said its "change of tone and expanded inclusiveness is a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics."

The statement said the parade was "remaining loyal to church teachings," and O'Reilly said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is to be the parade's grand marshal next year, was "very supportive" of the change.

Dolan said last year he supported the participation of gay people.

"I know that there are thousands and thousands of gay people marching in this parade," he said. "And I'm glad they are."

Police Commissioner William Bratton marched last year with a contingent of uniformed officers. Gay activists held a news conference before the march to say officers should not participate in uniform.

Uniformed city workers, marching bands with bagpipes, traditional Irish dancers and politicians are traditional participants at the parade, which began in 1762 and can draw hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators.

The committee's statement welcoming OUT(at)NBCUniversal said, "Organizers have diligently worked to keep politics - of any kind - out of the parade in order to preserve it as a single and unified cultural event. Paradoxically, that ended up politicizing the parade."

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Join the discussion

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WILLY WHITE DOG September 03 2014 at 8:41 AM

What's Next
Are they going to teach a How to be Gay class in Preschool now?
Stop frocing your ways on the rest of Us Please
Thank You

Flag Reply +42 rate up
10 replies
dadyscady September 03 2014 at 8:52 AM

Puts a new meaning to Gaylic

Flag Reply +32 rate up
4 replies
bps163 September 03 2014 at 8:42 AM

Fagget's in a parade, what for! Are they running a sale on same sex couples or something. There are no needs to run any information about gay people at all. Get rid of it.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
7 replies
Mocs September 03 2014 at 9:20 AM

Let's get this straight (no pun intended) once and for all. There was NEVER EVER a ban on gays marching in the parade. There was a ban on gays marching in the parade with a banner stating they are gay.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade - whether it's in NYC, Boston, Chicago, Dublin - is about Irish pride. It has nothing to do with sexual orientation. For YEARS I've been listening to this horse crap about how they don't include gays, which is not true. I'm sure gays march. I'm sure those who are pro-choice, on birth control, divorced or screwing around on their spouses march. Point is they don't need a banner stating so.

Gays have a parade down Fifth Avenue every June. That's THEIR day to march. March 17 is for the IRISH to march.

And I'm a little peeved that the AOH succumbed to this bullshite. But I suppose money talks and bullshite must march on.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
8 replies
jackstonealone September 03 2014 at 8:30 AM

The perverts have to ruin everything. Guess they change the traditional color of green to brown. SHEW!

Flag Reply +24 rate up
5 replies
Poppi September 03 2014 at 8:36 AM

Too bad. DiBlasio and Guiness would have been better clowns to ban. Another lliberal anti American attack succeeds.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
3 replies
chrischev1234 September 03 2014 at 9:35 AM

Another reason to hate the gays,just like their leader obama every thing they touch goes to ****

Flag Reply +21 rate up
7 replies
WILLY WHITE DOG September 03 2014 at 8:54 AM

We're here
We're Queer
And we Love Green Beer
New National slogan

Flag Reply +14 rate up
2 replies
Who Me WILLY WHITE DOG September 03 2014 at 10:18 AM

that's funny

Flag Reply 0 rate up
danclrksvll WILLY WHITE DOG September 03 2014 at 1:55 PM

You are indeed here,but God's judgment is also near,and at that day you will no longer sneer.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
Judith danclrksvll September 03 2014 at 2:35 PM

Well, how do you explain that although the Judeo-Christian viewpoint is that God made mankind in His image, along with the teaching that God doesn't make mistakes, that you think that God is against homosexuals? Didn't He make them, just like he made men, women, heterosexuals, lions, and tigers and bears, oh my!?!

Flag 0 rate up
onemadashell danclrksvll September 04 2014 at 8:44 AM


Flag 0 rate up
E. Karavousanos September 03 2014 at 10:05 AM

Why do those who call themselves tgay have a need to take pride in being gay!
I don't have a need to show pride in being heterosexual. Gays are of course neurotic and perhaps think they can feel better about themselves by "coming out". WRONG! They will remain neurotic.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
Scottilla E. Karavousanos September 03 2014 at 11:08 AM

Why are you telling us you are heterosexual? Do you want us to watch you having sex with a woman?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
onemadashell E. Karavousanos September 04 2014 at 8:46 AM

then they should remove all religions from the parades. since all they show is hate for the fellow person. do not need hate in a parade.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
catluvr4u September 03 2014 at 9:59 AM

I'm just about sick of these gays pushing themselves on EVERYTHING! Why don't yall go back in a closet somewhere and organize your own city. Then you can march, have a parade EVERYDAY, make your own wedding cakes, live in your own nasty world and everybody there in your gay city will love you and accept you.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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