In the press: Ireland rises against the NYC St. Patrick's parade and "time warp" homophobia

[These are in chronological order. Don't miss the broadcast clip at bottom!]

'Patrick's Day is not about sexuality' - Taoiseach Enda Kenny
"The Taoiseach came under fire in the Dail for agreeing to participate in the famous Fifth Avenue Procession - which has been criticised for its ban on posters promoting LGBT rights...Mr Kenny was asked by People Before Profit TD if he would wear a badge symbolising the LGBT community. He responded by stating he would be happy to wear a shamrock, which he says symbolises Irishness."

Split deepens in Irish government over taking part in New York parade
"The split in the Irish government over attitudes to marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York has deepened with Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore backing the decision of his cabinet minister colleague Joan Burton not to march. He is now at odds with his leader Enda Kenny, who has made it clear that he will march on the day and that the rules of the parade are a matter for the organizers."

Why do Irish LGBT's need a banner in the St. Pat's Parade?
"Many readers have asked this week why Irish gay groups want to carry an identifying banner in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in New York? Here's the short answer: because if you are not seen you are not heard. And when you are neither seen nor heard, bad things can happen to you without anyone noticing. Gay people know this, but apparently quite a few others need to be reminded. As the increasingly thuggish moves in Russia and Uganda and Nigeria have been reminding us for months now, legally enforced silence is biggest international enemy of LGBT rights."

NY parade is perfect time for Enda to take a stand:
The time-warp views of our Yankee cousins on homosexuality need to be thrown off the float
"AS SAINT Patrick's Day approaches, and Enda readies the bowl of shamrock, it's important that the 'brand Ireland' gospel is spread throughout America. And so, in a way, you could say that the spat over gays and the St Patrick's Day parade in New York has come at just the right time."

Secret behind who really runs the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Spoiler alert: it's not much of a secret.

Why New York mayor is right to cold shoulder this St Patrick's parade 
"Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who claims Irish ancestry (doesn't everyone?), got around the parades issue cutely enough by attending two in one day. The main one which bans what Mr Donohue would see as gays "drawing attention to themselves," and another elsewhere in the city which welcomes them, rainbow flags and all... De Blasio's stance...has once again turned the international spotlight on a ban that would appear to be totally at odds with a 21st century city that so prides itself on open-mindedness and liberalism. It says something that Vladimir Putin would feel entirely comfortable with the current St Paddy's parade restrictions."

NY St. Patrick's parade walks alone in banning gay groups
"Until recent years, it was joined by the India Day Parade, the Celebrate Israel Parade, and the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade, with the annual lead-up to each celebration marked by a heated debate much like the one happening now...'Every time one of New York City's ethnic parades says yes to the LGBT community it makes it harder for the shrinking number of parades, like St. Patrick's Day, that have said no, to continue to say no.'"

Burton criticised by colleagues for her decision to boycott New York parade
"Ms Burton yesterday said she would not be attending the parade because of its exclusion of gay and lesbian groups... Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to take the same course and said he intends to march in next month's event... Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer, who last week spoke of being beaten and spat at for being gay, said he would prefer it if Mr Kenny did not take part. Social Protection Minister Joan Burton also heaped pressure on Mr Kenny by claiming that she would boycott the event until it became 'more inclusive.'"

Gay rights activists urge Taoiseach not to march in St Patrick’s Day parade: National Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Federation make plea to Enda Kenny
"Olivia McEvoy, chair of the National LGBT Federation, said it would be “inappropriate and wrong” for uniformed Garda members to march in the parade as it sends out “a hugely negative message to LGBT people” and damages efforts to establish police relations with the LGBT community."

Irish Minister refuses to march in New York St Patrick’s Day Parade
'There comes a time when you have to say to the organizers we have had enough of this discrimination and division. In an ideal world, no Taoiseach (PM) or no minister should march in the parade. For me the big issue, why is the ban still there, in a progressive city like New York?'"

Buttimer would ‘prefer’ if Kenny didn’t attend New York parade

Why De Blasio made the right call on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
"The world looks very different than it did in 1990 when this squabble was really getting started and crucially, so does United States federal and state law. Those who still support the continuing ban and even those who have simply grown complacent over the stalemate have failed to recognize that the nation is in a new moment, one that has long since left them behind. Some Irish observers have suggested that the mayor should have attempted to mediate the dispute. Instead of taking the unprecedented and historic step of blankly refusing to participate. He could have saved our blushes by involving himself in the argument, even though the parade organizers have given no indication they are of a mind to bring it to an end. After twenty-five years of shameful stalemate, I’m not sure what concessions these observers think he can actually win? It’s doubtful that even Senator George Mitchell could produce a new path forward."

Irish leader says he will march in New York St Patrick’s Day parade

Kenny won't bow to gay pressure on St. Patrick's Day parade

Lyons says ministers should not participate in NY parade

Beaten, spat at and harassed: Buttimer tells Dáil in homophobia debate

Spat on for being gay: TDs reveal homophobia pain

Gay rights groups urge Govt to boycott New York parade
"Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Brian Sheehan, Director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), called on the Government not to take part in the event...A number of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights organisations have called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to boycott the event. Speaking on the same station, Scott de Buitléir, editor of online LGBT magazine Eile, said he hoped Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, in particular, would not participate in the parade, given his reputation among the gay community as an outspoken promoter of gay rights."

Second strike by NY Mayor de Blasio against Irish
http://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/niallodowd/Second-strike-by-NY-Mayor-de- Blasio-against-Irish.html
Another very silly article from Niall O'Dowd (in which he publicly wishes that de Blasio would play both sides?!) but the comments section is great... "De Blasio had the perfect out on the parade, one that his predecessor Michael Bloomberg took – march in the Irish gay parade a couple of weekends before March 17, and then on Fifth Avenue on the day itself."

Mayor de Blasio makes wrong call on Patrick’s Day parade
A ridiculous article in which the Irish Voice's Niall O'Dowd claims "The original gay group was the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, formed to help gay young Irish immigrants here cope with depression and exploitation issues" and is taken to task by ILGO members in reply. Since Irish Queers members' comments didn't make it past the moderator, one wonders whether the comments will be preserved, so here are a few:

Anne Maguire
As a founding member of ILGO and someone who was involved from the beginning for many years I am, yet again, gob-smacked by this article and its myriad inaccuracies. ILGO was not formed by a bunch of "exploited" and "depressed" Irish people but quite a broad-based group of people from North and South, of various political persuasions, class backgrounds and with a wide variety of interests. I don't doubt the writer's "friend" was depressed but we formed the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization not the Irish Exploited and Depressed Gay Organization.

ILGO was not hijacked by anyone - in fact, we were cheered on, by one and all, until the parade issue got too complicated, taking you out of your comfort zone as far as gay people are concerned. So, you manufactured the falsehood of a radical coup which you regurgitate whenever this issue arises. The truth is that the original people who started ILGO, stood our ground by deciding, as a group, not to go back into the closet and if that's hardcore then bully for us!

Also, you have some nerve stating that we had no interest in Irish issues. Even if you do not believe that equality for the LGBT community is a legitimate Irish issue ILGO was full of people who did work in other areas as well as people who could not give a toss about any issue, Irish or otherwise. Rather than revising history it would serve your readers better if you got over the fact that ILGO was not what you expected, or wanted. Better still, go be a reporter and find out if the AOH is ready to change it's tune.

Niall O'Dowd
Hannah it was as a result of an article i wrote abut a young Irish gay man in difficulty that ILGO was formed. I spoke at their first meeting and heavily advertised it as I felt strongly it was needed. The pity is no such group exists today because it was taken over by some who wanted to make the parade the issue -- and they did

Paul O'Dwyer
I was at the first, and probably every, meeting of ILGO over a period of several years, and I hate to minimize your role in it, but it was not formed because of depression or isolation or exploitation or whatever it is you want to call it, or because you knew of an Irish gay person in difficulty. There were a whole variety of people involved, with a diverse range of interests, from political to social to whatever it is they wanted it to be. It was the vehemence with which so many Irish and Irish-American people and institutions expressed their hatred of gay people once we applied to march in the parade that caused us to feel exploited, depressed and isolated, and that ultimately ended up defining the group.

None of wanted the parade to be "the issue", other than that it was an institution in which we rightly felt entitled to participate fully and freely, like everyone else. It is unfortunate that you think we shouldn't have done so.

Anne Maguire
I was at the first meeting of ILGO and Mr. O'Dowd, you were not present. You did not start ILGO either - I responded to an ad in the Irish Voice newspaper as did most others present at the first meeting. You may have placed that ad but nevertheless, rewriting our history, not your's, is pretty arrogant. The parade became an issue when ILGO refused to be beaten back into the closet - I would argue that the AOH made the parade an issue and over the years it became an "issue" for all kinds of people and organizations for various reasons - your publication included. I believe you did not and do not like the idea of gay people who are not ashamed of themselves for being gay, or Irish for that matter. It's okay if we're "victims" and "in difficulty" but not okay if we're perfectly intact and able and willing to stand up for ourselves. Sadly, all these years later nothing much has changed.

[BROADCAST] Gay rights groups do not want Government representatives at New York St. Patrick’s Day parade
"Gay rights group say they don't want government representatives to attend the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York. The Taoiseach and Tanaiste had earlier claimed that they had the backing of the gay community. It's a huge story all over the United States. For the first time in 20 years, the Mayor of New York is boycotting the St. Patrick's Day parade because it bans marchers who carry gay pride [sic] signs."