|The Catholic League, huge supporter of the parade till now.|
Amazingly, it seems like they thought it would pass quietly, or even that they'd be celebrated for their magnanimity. After all these years, they still don't get that you can't run a community's parade -- a very diverse community of millions across many countries -- as if it were a secret club with offices in a locker room.
They also seem to think we don't remember the tricks they've used in the past to pretend they weren't excluding anyone. (Set aside the strange argument that LGBT people are welcome to march as long as they march in the closet, unidentified.) First they tell us (through the press) that we "can apply to march" and then they tell us they can't take our application because "they're under pressure to shorten the parade." Are we talking about 1992 or 2014? Hard to tell!
The parade committee unleashed an outpouring of support for LGBT marchers when they announced the (fake) end of the ban last week. Given that outpouring, they panicked when all of NYC's Irish LGBT groups applied to march. Hemming and hawing, they pretended the applications were suddenly closed. No more room in the parade! The position is filled! Fifth Avenue is only so many blocks long, you know.
But the Catholic League got thrown out with the parade's panicky bathwater. They'd been promised an anti-abortion group could apply and march in exchange for NBC's gay marchers. Who knew the applications would be gay-panic-closed before they got to do that? The logistics of exclusion are really so complicated. So the Catholic League has pulled out of the parade.
And that makes room for one more contingent. It seems there's room in the parade after all for Irish LGBT people, huh,
Please join Irish Queers, the Lavendar and Green Alliance and St. Pat's for All this Tuesday as we announce our applications to march in the St Patrick's Day parade in 2015.
Tues. Sept. 9, 9am
Steps of the NY Public Library, 40th St and Fifth Ave.!
Last week parade organizers announced a secret deal permitting only the gay employee group of the parade's corporate sponsor -- and not any Irish LGBTQ groups -- to march in the parade.
We apply while remembering that ILGO was also told by the parade organizers to “apply to march”. The parade organizers- many of the same people who will review our application now, told ILGO that they were on a waiting list, which was a lie. Applying again is “our gesture of goodwill”.
So many hundreds of queers, Irish community activists, and supporters have worked to end bigotry and exclusion in the parade -- come out, everyone!
- LGBTQ New Yorkers are supposed to have fair and equitable access to public services, including policing (suspend your critique of policing generally, for a second.)
- The NYPD's official participation in the explicitly religious right/homophobic NYC St. Patrick's Day parade tells the LGBTQ community that the NYPD, the FDNY, and the City are (still) not interested in our community's rights and safety, and that the NYPD is "more oppressor than protector" to the LGBTQ community, in the words of a federal appeals court.
- This bias denies LGBTQ people equal access to the services of the NYPD.
- Force the City (NYPD, FDNY, etc) to disassociate itself from the bigoted parade, and possibly force a change that takes the lucrative event away from the bigoted power brokers who run it now.
- Pose a serious and highly public challenge to the NYPD’s and FDNY’s bias and homophobia, and the permissive attitude of the City toward that bias.
- Weaken the power of the religious right in NYC (which is also currently challenging secular control of city schools.)
- NYC residents who identify as LGBTQ
- including people who have not had direct experience of biased policing
- including people who have had direct experience of biased policing
- including people who are citizens, residents, green card holders, etc.
- NYC organizations who represent or serve LGBTQ people
- People who don't live in NYC or aren't LGBTQ (because of the specific requirements of law -- not because we don't love you.)
- People who might have a problem with their legal residency status, outstanding warrants, or other issue that might be complicated if your name appears in a court document.
Identity politics are tricky - particularly at the St Patrick's Day Parade
Village Voice | March 18, 2014 | Anna Merlan