Abolishing St. Pat's Parade As We Know It
November 6th, 2007
Though she boycotted in ‘06 and attended one in the mother country last year, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she would consider a proposal this morning to abolish the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in its current form so to include marchers representing Northern Ireland.
A proposal put forth on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show by The Irish Voice Publisher Niall O’Dowd, the so-called abolishment is not aimed at doing away with the city’s longstanding parade. O’Dowd would like to redirect its emphasis from green beer and pubic intoxication to a message of inclusion and the Irish culture’s future.
The parade’s inclusion, or lack thereof, has long been a matter of controversy.
Quinn boycotted the parade in 2006 because the parade’s organizers refused to allow marchers that had any symbols of their sexual orientation. Quinn, who is a lesbian and the city’s most powerful Irish-American politician, marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin this year, and thus avoided the confrontation again.
The parade’s Roman Catholic organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, have refused to allow gay groups to openly march for years. This proposal could potentially open up the door for gay groups’ participation, and it could also possibly set up another clash between Quinn and the parade’s organizers.
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