O HIJINKS! Bill Donohue can march in NYC Pride - but does he want to?

File under hilarious unintended consequences (Irish Queers' or Bill Donohue's, take your pick.) Right-Catholic bigot Bill Donohue has applied to march in Pride. Unfortunately for him, NYC Pride organizers said "sure!" Now he's stuck with it -- although apparently he hasn't actually registered yet and is trying to wiggle out. Major kudos to Heritage of Pride for rolling with the punches.

Below are the news clips from March 20 and 21, 2014.

Your Irish-and-queer-but-not-Catholic blogger has to admit that she never heard Bill Donohue speak until these recordings made the rounds, although he's said plenty of similar stuff in print. But heavens to Betsy! The man sounds like he needs a Guinness and some downers. OMG, I really, really hope he marches in Pride.


[VIDEO] Donohue: Gay Pride Putting Up Blocks to Stop Me Marching

Donohue believes NYC Pride is fearful that Catholic League supporters could overwhelm the Gay Pride Parade, which is held on the last weekend in June.

"What if instead of getting 100 people, what if I get 3,000 people? What if we begin to overwhelm their parade and veto their message. They know what's at stake," he said.
"They had a chance already to unequivocally answer me, and they're not doing that. They're dancing on the head of a lawyer's pin. We'll find out."

Donohue insisted the controversy surrounding the St. Patrick's Day Parade is not being promoted by all gays, but rather an elite group of high-powered liberals with an agenda.

"There's not enough gays that they lined up single file to pull off this nonsense, it's supported by the tony corporate boys and girls at Guinness … and the Georgetown people, Park Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin, Hollywood people," he said.

Guinness, along with fellow brewers Heineken and Samuel Adams, pulled out of sponsorship of the St. Patrick's Day Parade because of organizers' refusal to allow gays to march under their own banner. Donohue says he will boycott the beers.

"You know who I'm talking about, the elite. It's the cultural elite," said Donohue. "They think it's chic to be involved with gay rights causes.... [They] crossed the line on this one. All we want to do is have a St. Patrick's Day parade which honors St. Patrick's and you want to crash it with your own agenda.

Bill Donahue wants to ruin New York City’s LGBT pride parade by participating in it

Catholic League's Bill Donohue Seems a Little Nervous About Actually Marching in the Gay Pride Parade

[VIDEO & AUDIO which btw sounds like Donohue is about to blow a gasket] Why NYC's Gay Pride Parade Is Letting This Guy March Under a "Straight Is Great" Banner

Pride parade welcomes Catholic League's Donohue's request to march

Bill Donohue, Catholic League Leader, Invited To March In The 2014 NYC Pride Parade

Anti-Gay Catholic Leader Trying To Slip Out Of Agreement To March In Gay Pride Parade?

Anti-Gay Catholic Leader Trying To Slip Out Of Agreement To March In Gay Pride Parade?
Falsely Claims NYC Pride ‘Trying To Impose Their Agenda’ On His ‘Straight Is Great’ Marchers

Bill Donohue is the head of the highly-profitable Catholic League. From his office suite that adjoins the New York Archdiocese headquarters, Bill Donohue sits, waits, and then attacks. He attacks same-sex marriage and its supporters. He attacks women’s reproductive rights and its supporters. He attacks those who oppose the church’s handling of its pedophile priests. And he attacks any social issue that might challenge the authority or positions of the Roman Catholic Church.

And for that, Bill Donohue makes $407,000 a year.

His Catholic League is rated just two out of four stars by Charity Navigator. Of the $3.7 million Donohue’s Catholic League — which many believe is just Donohue and a secretary or two — took in during 2012, a whopping 23.4% went to administrative costs, and another whopping 22% went to fundraising.

So why are we telling you all this?

Because Bill Donohue is a blowhard and a coward.

This week, Donohue went ballistic, after learning that Guinness beer pulled its sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade over the parade’s anti-gay policies. Being an Irish Catholic, no doubt the parade is near and dear to Bill’s heart, but apparently the free market system is allowed to go just so far for Donohue.

He launched a boycott of Guinness, which he said was acting “like a corporate bully.”
So in retaliation, and no doubt trying to find discrimination, Donohue made a big stink about trying to get into the New York City gay pride parade. He demanded organizers allow him to march under a “Straight is Great” banner.

Much to Donohue’s surprise, they did — immediately.

Hours later, the head of GLAAD asked to march with him. Turns out, Sarah Kate Ellis is “a fellow Irish New Yorker.”

Now, in a cowardly and hypocritical way, Donohue is trying to claim organizers are stalling and trying to block him, so he can wiggle out of marching in the parade.
The problem, for Donohue, is that they’re not.

“Their initial response was okay, you have to come to a training session,” Donohue said in an interview yesterday with NewsMax TV. “People have to wear LGBT paraphernalia … Now they are dancing. They are saying, well … we have our own rules and what not,” Donohue is claiming.

“Quite frankly as a straight guy, I don’t go to gay training sessions,” Donohue said. “I’m pretty much of an untrainable guy when it comes these things.”

“I said, look I want to be clear, can I march with my banner ‘Straight is Great?’ My members will wear t-shirts ‘Straight is Great’ – I’m waiting for the final answer.”
“Before I attend your training sessions, I just want to know … They’re not giving me an unequivocal answer.”

In this video, Donohue admits his entire reason for wanting to march is to make up his own rules. Now that he’s done so, and they’ve been accepted, he is twisting the organizers’ response:


Well, that’s totally false, according to the NYC Pride organizers.

The New Civil Rights Movement reached out to the official organizers of NYC Pride, Heritage of Pride, Inc.

Here’s what they said to us, via email:

We require all March registrants to have group leaders attend an event operations training. This is for the safety for our participants. The requirement is not unique to Mr. Donohue.
Mr. Donohue sought prior approval on his group’s slogan, “Straight is Great.” We acknowledged his message and said the text was fine. At no point have we instructed Mr. Donohue as to what must be printed on his group’s shirts. The NYC Pride March Rules & FAQs sheet can be found here (as public on our website):

As of [this] writing, neither Mr. Donohue nor the Catholic League have submitted registration for the 2014 NYC Pride March.

So, a safety training class to Bill Donohue is “gay training.”

He got his “final answer” immediately, and he knows it — as does everyone else who’s been following the news.

NYC Pride clearly did not state that he or his group “have to wear LGBT paraphernalia,” nor does their four-page list of rules address attire, with the exception of noting nudity below the waist is illegal in New York City.

Donohue is a fraud, a coward, and a blowhard.

Frankly, this latest stunt is an embarrassment to the Catholic Community he claims to represent and defend, and they should tell him to stop speaking for them.

If Bill Donohue — whose anti-gay views, comments, and attacks are beyond ugly — demands to be allowed to march in the NYC gay pride parade, and he’s welcomed, he should follow through, or be held up as a coward too afraid to walk the streets of New York with LGBT people by his side.


Ireland & around there: News clips from St. Patrick's Day protest

The Guardian | Associated Press | 3/17/14
New York mayor to skip St Patrick's Day parade over gay rights dispute

Irish Times | 3/17/14 | Simon Carswell
Guinness pulls sponsorship of New York parade over gay ban

Irish Times | 3/17/14 | Simon Carswell
Taoiseach Defends Decision to March in New York Parade

Irish Examiner | 3/18/14 | Mary Regan
New York parties but this St Patrick's Day is one of exclusion

Irish Times | 3/18/14 Simon | Carswell
Taoiseach misses gay protest at New York St Patrick’s Day parade

Irish Times  | 3/16/14 | Donald Clarke
Why must we be proud to be Irish?

Irish Independent | 3/18/14 | Lise Hand

Irish Independent | 3/18/14 | Orla Tinsley
Identity politics are tricky - particularly at the St Patrick's Day Parade

Irish Independent | 3/14/14 | Katherine Zappone


News clips from St. Patrick's Day protest!

Here's the big, serious round-up of NYC and US press clips from yesterday's protest! International press clips will be posted shortly. xo IQ

Village Voice | March 18, 2014 | Anna Merlan
This Was The Gayest St. Patrick's Day Ever, Relatively Speaking

Village Voice | March 18, 2014 | Jenna Pope
Irish Queers Rally at St. Patrick's Day Parade (PHOTOS)

ABC News New York | March 17, 2014 | Dave Evans
St. Patrick's Day parade proceeds amid tension over gays

The Advocate | March 17, 2014 | Michelle Garcia

Al Jazeera | March 17, 2014
St Patrick's parades held in US amid gay row

amNewYork | March 17, 2014 | Morgan Lyle
St. Patrick's Day parade brings thousands to Fifth Ave.

amNewYork | March 17, 2014
Photos of the St. Patrick's Day Parade In NYC

amNewYork | March 17, 2014
Guinness pulls out of NYC parade over gay ban

amNewYork | March 17, 2014 | Dan Rivoli
Catholic League head calls for Catholic boycott of beer

Associated Press | March 17, 2014 | Meghan Barr and Verena Dobnik
St. Pat's parades proceed amid tension over gays

Associated Press TV via amNewYork | March 17, 2014
Guinness Ends NYC St. Pat's Parade Sponsorship [Video]

Associated Press via Wall Street Journal | March 17, 2014
NYC mayor honors Ireland's prime minister

Capital New York | March 17, 2014 | Sally Goldenberg
Amid disagreements, De Blasio celebrates the Irish

CBS News New York | March 17, 2014
NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Marches Up Fifth Avenue Amid Controversy [Audio, Video]

Channel 11 WPIX News | March 16, 2014 | Alyssa Zauderer
Guinness Beer drops sponsorship of NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade over LGBT policy [Video]

Channel 12 News Long Island | March 14, 2014
St. Patrick's Day Parade held in NYC amid tensions over LGBT inclusion [Video]

Channel 41 WXTV Univision | March 16, 2014
Desfile de San Patricio lleno de controversias

Christian Science Monitor | March 17, 2014 | Karis Hustad
Why beer brands side with gay community, not St. Patrick's parades

Christian Science Monitor | March 17, 2014 | Noelle Swan
St. Patrick's Day: How did it become a flashpoint for gay rights? [Video]

CNN | March 17, 2014 | Haimy Assefa
New York, Boston mayors back LGBT groups, reject St. Patrick's Day parades

CNN | March 17, 2014 | Richard Quest
Guinness: Ending sponsorship right thing [Video]

The Daily Beast | March 17, 2014 | Michael Tomasky
The Grotesque Ban On Gays In New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade

Daily Caller | March 17, 2014 | Caroline May
Beer companies protest exclusion of gays from parade technically celebrating Christian saint

Daily Mail | March 17, 2014 
New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade attracts more than a million spectators including gay protesters along the route [Video]

DNAinfo | March 17, 2014 | Gustavo Solis and Colby Hamilton
St. Patrick's Day Parade Fills Fifth Ave. Despite Controversy

Fox News New York | March 17, 2014
NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

Gay City News | March 17, 2014 | Andy Humm
With Fewer Sponsors, Anti-Gay St. Pat’s Parade Protested for 23rd Year

Gothamist | March 17, 2014 | Camille Lawhead
'No (Gay) Irish Need Apply': LGBTQ Groups Protest St. Patrick's Day Parade

Gothamist | March 16, 2014 | Rebecca Fishbein
[UPDATED] Heineken, Sam Adams Pull Out Of St. Patrick's Parades Over LGBTQ Ban

Gothamist | March 17, 2014 | Nell Casey
Stonewall Inn Restocks Guinness As Company Pulls Support Of St. Patrick's Day Parade

The Guardian | March 17, 2014 | Amanda Holpuch and Kayla Epstein
Ford among few remaining supporters of New York's St Patrick's Day parade

Huffington Post | March 17, 2014 | Caelainn Hogan
St. Patrick's Day Parade's 'Disgraceful' Message to Irish LGBTQ Community

IrishCentral | March 17, 2014 | Kate Hickey
New York City St Patrick's Day parade 2014 [Photos]

IrishCentral | March 17, 2014 | Niall O'Dowd
Bill De Blasio mends fences with Irish but no mention of parade

IrishCentral | March 17, 2014 | Niall O'Dowd
Guinness withdraws from NY parade, says they want to help find a solution

IrishCentral | March 17, 2014 | Patrick Counihan
Irish Americans upset with New York’s Mayor de Blasio says NY Times

IrishCentral | March 17, 2014 | Cahir O'Doherty
Welcome to your traditional St. Patrick's PR nightmare, Enda Kenny

IrishCentral | March 16, 2014 | Niall O'Dowd
Excluding gays proving disastrous for business for St.Patrick’s parades

Irish Examiner | March 18, 2014 | Mary Regan
Taoiseach ‘proud’ to march in parade decried as homophobic

Irish Times | March 17, 2014 | Simon Carswell
Taoiseach misses gay protest at New York St Patrick’s Day parade

Irish Times | March 17, 2014 | Simon Carswell
Taoiseach defends decision to march in New York parade

Latin Post | March 17, 2014 | Matthew Reis
St. Patricks Day Parade Celebrations and Scandal

MassLive | March 17, 2014 | Conor Berry
Gays are OK in Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade, but must remain closeted in Boston, New York parades

Mediaite | March 17, 2014 | Luke O'Neil
Guinness Pulls Out of NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade over LGBT Snub

Media Matters | March 14, 2014 | Carlos Maza
Fox News' Defense Of Anti-Gay Discrimination At NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Media Research Center - Newsbusters | March 17, 2014 | Scott Whitlock
ABC, NBC Push a St. Patrick’s Day ‘Controversy Hanging Over’ Gays Not Marching in Parades

Metro New York | March 7, 2014
PHOTOS: New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade marred by boycotts [Photos]

Mother Jones | March 17, 2014 | Asawin Suebsaeng
Guinness and Other Beers Pull Out of St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Ban on Openly Gay Marchers

NBC News New York | March 17, 2014
NYC Celebrates St. Patrick's Day With Parade Up Fifth Avenue [Photos]

Newsday | March 17, 2014 | Morgan Lyle
Thousands brave cold temps at St. Pat's parade [Video]

Newsday | March 17, 2014
NYC's St. Patrick's Day parade 2014 [Photos]

Newsweek | March 17, 2014 | Victoria Bekiempis
Guinness Opts Out of NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Over Anti-Gay Policy

New York 1 News - Time Warner Cable | March 17, 2014
Fifth Avenue Goes Green for Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

New York Daily News | March 18, 2014 | Jennifer Fermino
Mayor de Blasio honors the Irish on St. Patrick's Day while skipping the parade

New York Daily News | March 17, 2014 | Caitlin Nolan and Ginger Adams Otis 
Raining on their parade: Fight over rights of gays to march openly on St. Patrick's Day dampens mood of festivity

New York Daily News | March 17, 2014
Patrick's Day Parade kicks off in New York City [Photos]

New York Daily News | March 17, 2014 | Denis Hamill
Hamill: Cheers to Guinness, the Pope for rejecting bigotry on St. Patrick's Day

New York Daily News | March 17, 2014
Readers sound off on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

New York Magazine | March 16, 2014 | Margaret Hartmann
The Gay Rights Battle Over New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade: A History [Video]

New York Post | March 18, 2014 | Antonio Antenucci, Amber Sutherland and Lorena Mongelli
Huge crowds turn out for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

New York Post | March 17, 2014 | Richard Johnson
Boycotting Heineken and Guinness

New York Post | March 16, 2014 | Leonard Greene
Guinness ditches St. Paddy’s parade over LGBT ban

New York Times | March 17, 2014 | Robert Mackey
Murdoch Urges Irish to Boycott Guinness Over Its Embrace of Gay Rights

New York Times | March 17, 2014
A Parade Goes On Without the Mayor [Photos]

New York Times | March 16, 2014 | Ashley Southall
Guinness Withdraws Sponsorship of St. Patrick’s Day Parade

New York Times | March 16, 2014 | Michael Grynbaum and Nikita Stewart
Amid Mayoral Missteps and Snubs of Parades, Irish Eyes Are Rolling in New York

Out | March 17, 2014
Rupert Murdoch Urges Boycott of Pro-Equality Guinness

Politicker | March 17, 2014 | Jill Colvin
De Blasio Kicks Off St. Patrick’s Day With Gracie Breakfast

Reuters | March 17, 2014 | Victoria Cavaliere
New York's St. Patrick's parade marches on amid gay rights controversy

Reuters | March 17, 2014
Demonstrators protest as members of the FDNY Pipes and Drums Em march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York [Photo]
Demonstrators protest as members of the FDNY Pipes and Drums Em march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York [Photo]
Demonstrators protest as members of the NYPD march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York [Photo]
Demonstrators protest as members of the NYPD march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York [Photo]

Reuters | March 16, 2014 | Elizabeth Barber
Guinness pulls out of NY's St. Patrick's parade over ban on gays

Reuters | March 15, 2014 | Anna Hiatt
Beer makers drop out of St. Pat's parades that ban openly gay marchers

Salon | March 17, 2014 | Mary Elizabeth Williams
The fight for LGBT equality will be won with beer

Staten Island Advance | March 17, 2014 | Mark D. Stein
St. Patrick's Day 2014: Staten Island goes green at annual Fifth Avenue parade (with photos)

United Press International | March 17, 2014 | Aileen Graef
Irish politicians criticize U.S. LGBT exclusion in St. Patrick's Day parades

Vice News | March 16, 2014 | Mary O'Hara
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade LGBT Ban Is Distinctly American

Voice of America | March 17, 2014 | Adam Phillips
NYC Hosts St. Patrick's Day Parade

Wall Street Journal | March 17, 2014 | Michael Howard Saul
Without Mayor de Blasio, St. Patrick's Day Parade Marches On

Wall Street Journal
Photos: St. Patrick’s Day Marches On in New York City

Washington Times | March 17, 2014
EDITORIAL: Keep St. Patrick’s Day parades free of gay politics
De Blasio, Walsh want to make the saint’s day all about sex

WNYC Radio News | March 17, 2014 | Stephen Nessen
PHOTOS: Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Picketed by Protesters

WNYC Radio News | March 17, 2014 | Kathleen Horan
Bratton Says He Marched to Honor NYPD Tradition, Not Against Gay Groups [Audio]

WNYC Radio| March 17, 2014 
Brian Lehrer Show - Irish-American Grievances

WNYC Radio News | March 16, 2014 | Sarah Hayley Barrett
Why the Furor Over Manhattan's St. Patrick's Day Parade?

Associated Press Images | March 17, 2014
253rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Associated Press Images | March 17, 2014
St Patrick's Parade


Compiled by:
Bill Dobbs

March 18, 2014

Scott Lively shines some reality on St Patrick's parades

This is it, folks. The crossover is complete. After filtering out Irish LGBT groups and other Irish groups whose "message" the parade organizers don't like, and after making these cherished old Irish parades "private" and "Catholic" and all about military men and their gritted-teeth-smiling wives, the jig is up. These are the dregs. All that remains is the swill of homophobia and murderous religious-right.

He's done with Uganda and Nigeria, and now to attend to the business of destroying the lives, communities, and families of queers at home. Scott Lively is welcomed by the keep-the-gays-out movement of St. Patrick's Day parades. Why not? He's one of them.

Governor candidate and anti-gay activist Scott Lively marches in Boston St. Patrick's Parade

1 Scott Lively 1713.jpg
Pastor Scott Lively (center) enters U.S. District Courthouse in Springfield in this past photograph. (John Suchocki / The Republican)
The Republican NewsroomBy The Republican Newsroom 
on March 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM, updated March 16, 2014 at 7:01 PM

BOSTON – Springfield-based anti-gay minister Scott Lively announced he proudly marched in Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day which many politicians skipped because parade organizers have banned gay, bisexual and lesbian groups. 

Lively, a Shelburne Falls native who owns the Holy Grounds coffee shop in Springfield, is running as a independent candidate for governor. He said he marched with his new running mate Shelly Saunders, of Springfield, and a small contingent of supporters. 

Many other politicians, including Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Congressman Stephen Lynch, skipped the parade after they could not come to an agreement with organizers to allow gays and lesbians to march in the parade. The maker of Sam Adams beer also withdrew his support. 

“The LGBT bullies, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, are giving the St. Paddy’s Day Parade organizers a hard time for keeping the parade a family-friendly event, but they are standing strong for family values and not bowing to intimidation,” Lively said in a press release. 

“The media is predictably crying ’discrimination,’ but thank God the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the parade organizers have the constitutional right to exclude anyone they please,” he said in writing. 

Lively said he was marching to represent all the voters who believe in “authentic marriage and the Biblical model of family.” 

Lively is no stranger to controversy. His crusade against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has taken him around the world and most recently to federal court. Based on his anti-gay talks in Uganda, where the anti-gay movement pushed a bill to passage that criminalizes homosexuality, Lively is accused of crimes against humanity in a lawsuit filed by human rights groups Sexual Minorities Uganda and New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. 

He also recently defended reality show “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s who compared homosexuality to bestiality. 

He jumped into the 2014 Massachusetts governor’s race this fall as an independent candidate to “unapologetically articulate Biblical values without fear or compromise.“ 


3/17 statement from Irish Queers



MARCH 17, 2014

We are encouraged and happy that Heineken and Guinness have just dropped their sponsorship of the NYC St Patrick's Day parade because of the parade’s unapologetic homophobia. The hatred represented by this parade has gotten clearer and more untenable every year for more than two decades.
Those who still stand with the parade are making a clear choice to endorse bigotry. That includes Ford Motors, NBC, Fordham University – and the NYPD. It’s incredible that the whole world is decrying the homophobia of the parade, but New York’s police and fire departments still think it’s somehow okay to march in uniformed, official contingents of thousands of officers. It’s tragic that beer companies have a stronger moral compass than the NYPD.
There’s pressure on other sponsors to do the right thing before next year’s parade. When sponsors finally stop paying for religious-right homophobia, the parade can go back to being Irish and including the rich diversity of the Irish American community.
That will be a day to celebrate, and we want to be clear that we won’t accept anything less. We’ll be challenging the homophobes who have hijacked our parade until Irish LGBT groups can march up Fifth Avenue behind a banner just like everyone else. Like our friends in Boston, we won’t be cutting any deals about leaving out words like “gay” or “lesbian” or “transgender.” We’ll join the parade as Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, without reservation. And we’ll insist that the parade be open to all of Ireland’s diversity, from religion to color to culture.
Until that day, Irish Queers is here protesting the NYPD’s participation in this bigoted parade. We’re joined by groups of people of color, homeless folks, and queer youth – just a few of the New York communities made unsafe by biased policing. Commissioner Bratton’s disregard for LGBT New Yorkers at this parade tells all of our communities that anti-discrimination laws won’t protect us from the NYPD. We may have a new Mayor who’s interested in reform, but his police commissioner is bringing ugly back.
We need the Mayor to require Commission Bratton to do better on respectful policing, before more damage is done. It would be sad and embarrassing if the LGBT community had to sue the City to uphold its own anti-discrimination law, but we will if we have to.
We extend a special St. Patrick’s Day welcome to the queer community in Ireland, and the Irish government ministers and TDs who have firmly and publicly told the NYC parade organizers that homophobia isn’t Irish culture. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Irish Queers.




Irish Queers will be joined by (hooray!) a whole big bunch of other LGBTQ groups and allies, including police accountability groups.

We're protesting on the WEST side of Fifth Ave, between 56th and 57th Streets. Oh, trust us, you'll see us!

We'll have cupcakes and the fabulousness the Rude Mechanical Orchestra to make it fun.

It's not always fun. But this year -- super fun. In case you don't spend all your time following the developments: Heineken and Guinness dropped out as sponsors of the parade. That is veryvery big happenings! After years of things Not. Budging. At. All. things are budging.

Join us there! If you can't find us, or if you have trouble getting through the barricades to reach us, call (718) 909-3956 and we'll figure it out.

Sign petition to Commissioner Bratton!

The St. Patrick's Day parade is such a bastion of bias that the Mayor can't march, the City Council can't march, and sponsors are dropping out. So why on earth would the NYPD think it's okay to march? Commissioner Bratton refused to even acknowledge the issue until reporters prodded him. Then his only answer was "I have a gay sister." That doesn't cut it.

Please sign and SHARE this petition to Commissioner Bratton. He gets an email every time someone signs it, so step on up -- we can make 2014 the last year for NYPD homophobia on parade.



HUGE: Guinness drops antigay St Patrick's parade!

Guinness' statement:

"Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy."


Heady days. Change ahead?

Is Irish Queers' long, cold winter about to warm up?
PSNI have just been disinvited from marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade by community outcry.

Heineken just pulled their sponsorship because of the parade's homophobia.

Sam Adams Brewery have similarly pulled their sponsorship from the Boston parade.

St. Patrick's Day parades are going off all over the world and making a big deal of their inclusiveness, their refusal of homophobia. As if to say Hellooooo New York?

The Taoiseach is in New York City and is getting no peace, as the calls for him to stand up for Irish LGBTQ people keep coming.

About a dozen LGBTQ and police accountability groups are set for the press conference and protest at the parade -- a show of solidarity and united purpose that we haven't seen in a good few years, because people get cyclically sick and tired of banging their heads against the unflinchingly bigoted parade committee.

No one who reads a newspaper in New York or Ireland could mistake the parade for an Irish celebration, in spite of some of the homophobes' efforts to recast their religious bigotry as "just not being all about gayness."

The calls for change are getting louder, and the evasions getting more and more pretzel-like. Could it be that the facades are falling altogether? That would be... such a relief.

Press release: LGBTQ & Policing Groups To Protest NYPD @ NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

Contact: Emmaia Gelman (917) 517-3627
Date: March 14, 2014

LGBTQ Groups & Policing Groups Will Protest NYPD Contingents in Discriminatory St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Parade Committee claims “private, religious” exemption from NYC anti-discrimination ruling -- but City agencies don’t have “free speech right” to bypass anti-bias rules.

Pre-protest press conference: Monday 3/17, 10:30am (30 mins before parade). Between 56th & 57th Sts, west side of Fifth Ave.

New York – LGBTQ groups and allies plan to protest the large contingents of uniformed New York City police and firefighters marching in the antigay NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade this Monday, March 17. The parade’s unwavering homophobia has led Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to formally join the long-standing boycott this year.

Organizations will include Irish Queers, the Anti-Violence Project, Queer Nation, New Alternatives for LGBT Youth, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Brooklyn Lambda Independent Democrats, VOCAL-NY, JFREJ Campaign for Police Accountability, and others.

“The homophobic bigotry of this parade is reaffirmed each year by the organizers. The NYPD’s insistence on sending huge uniformed contingents every year, makes it clear that the rights of our communities don’t concern them. Commissioner Bratton hasn’t even acknowledged the community’s outrage. If the NYPD and the City refuses to uphold their own anti-bias rules, how can we trust police officers with our safety?” said JF Mulligan of Irish Queers.

The NYC Human Rights Commission found that the parade, as a public event, could not discriminate against LGBTQ people. However, a federal court granted parade organizers’ claim that the parade is not public, but actually a “private, religious procession.” Parade organizers say allowing gay Irish groups to march, or allowing individual marchers to identify themselves as LGBTQ, would contradict Catholic doctrine that opposes homosexuality.

The parade controversy has heated up this year with the Mayor’s announcement that he would boycott, with battles over draconian religious anti-gay legislation in Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi and Missouri.

“At a time when we are horrified by laws in Arizona and elsewhere that would deny public services to LGBTQ people, it’s particularly ironic that NYC would allow its police and firefighters to march in a parade that’s so notoriously homophobic,” said Alan Levine, attorney for Irish Queers.

“The parade organizers claim a right to discriminate, in private, in order to get around the Human Rights Commission’s anti-discrimination ruling. If the NYPD – a public agency – now claims its own ‘free speech right’ to join in that private, religious discrimination, we’re on a dangerous path that feels a lot like Arizona’s,” said Mulligan.

Irish ministers are also boycotting the Fifth Avenue parade, with the exception of the conservative Irish taoiseach (prime minister). The government has been bitterly split over his decision to attend. A coalition of Ireland’s top political parties, including the taoiseach’s own party, have published a video condemning the parade and refuting its connection to Irish culture. LGBTQ groups have published a letter calling on him to boycott. Web links follow.


For more information: http://irishqueers.blogspot.com

“In St. Pat’s Dispute, Free Speech is Not the Issue” Gay City News, 3/5/14

“New York mayor out of step with St Patrick's Day march over anti-gay ban: Bill de Blasio is the first New York mayor for 21 years to boycott the St Patrick's Day parade over its ban on gay participants – but is he doing enough?” The Guardian, 3/8/14

“Why the Taoiseach should not join the St Patrick’s Day parade
Opinion: Our Irishness is pluralist and non-sectarian”, Irish Times, 3/11/14

“New York St. Patrick’s parade no place for my child” IrishCentral.com, 3/12/14

“Irish parliamentarians support St Pats for All” 2/28/14

“Dear Enda” - Irish LGBTQ groups call on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to boycott or break antigay parade rules.


Bigots heart bigots: PSNI join the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade.

The notoriously bigoted Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are traveling to march in the notoriously bigoted NYC St. Patrick's Day parade this year. (They're marching with the Gardaí! It's all very enlightened.) Apparently their love of militarism and their right-wing zealotry are enough to unite them across the once-bitter divide of religion and nation. Mazel tov, they deserve each other.

It's telling to watch the NY Irish community's outrage boil up now. Some people see this is just an extension of the bigotry that Irish queer groups have been trying (often without much help) to challenge. Some really, truly never saw it coming. As the poem goes: "First they came for the communists..."

Guardian: New York St Patrick's Day parade to include Northern Irish police

First They Came...
Martin Niemoller
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

"Dear Enda": Irish LGBTQ groups call on the Taoiseach to break bigoted rules.

photo 2-24
[Enda Kenny at the New York St Patrick's Day parade, and a LGBT pin]
We the undersigned wish to express our strong concerns regarding your proposed participation in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. By singling out openly LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) groups for exclusion from the parade, the organisers are sending out a message of discrimination and intolerance towards a section of the community and diaspora who deserve to have their contribution to the global Irish family celebrated and recognised on the same basis as everyone else.
It has been claimed, disingenuously, that because no group is allowed to display overtly political banners, the prohibition on LGBT people depicting any sign or symbol that would identify them as openly lesbian or gay is not discriminatory.
This is a claim that our identities are inherently political, which is false. Our organisations are first and foremost about community and visibility, not any political beliefs. The many other groups who make up the Irish-American community are all allowed to march under banners identifying who they are so we are clearly being subjected to a discriminatory double standard.
You gave a very welcome personal vow last November to actively campaign for what you describe as the ‘equality issue of gay marriage’ in next year’s referendum. You are also on record as stating that you are “proud to stand here as a public representative, a Taoiseach who happens to be a Catholic but not a Catholic Taoiseach. A Taoiseach for all of the people, that’s my job”. These were crucially important statements about the kind of Ireland you envision. You have an opportunity to serve as an ambassador for these same modern and inclusive values, ones which are shared by the vast majority of Irish people, at home and abroad.
Therefore, we strongly urge you to decline to march in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York next week – an honourable stance adopted by the city’s Mayor, Bill De Blasio, and the New York City Council. The exclusionary policies of the organisers are completely at odds with the statements you have made around these issues.  If, however, withdrawal at this stage is problematic, we ask that you wear the rainbow-flag lapel-pin [above] as a sign of solidarity with the Irish and Irish-American LGBT communities.
Where we are banned from marching and representing ourselves, our organisations and our community, you can act as our representative, our “Taoiseach for all of the people”, and show New York, Ireland and the world the values of our proud, inclusive and modern Ireland, that draws strength from our traditions but has dispensed with the damaging prejudices of the past.
LGBT Noise
National LGBT Federation (NXF)
Marriage Equality
Gay Switchboard Ireland
INTO LGBT Teachers Group
Atheist Ireland
Dundalk Outcomers
Union Of Students In Ireland (USI)
BeLonG To Youth Services
LGBT Lawyers Association of Ireland
Trans Student Network Alliance
Action For Russia
Senator Katherine Zappone and Dr Ann Louise Gilligan
Senator David Norris
Senator Averil Power
Panti Bliss – Rory O’Neill
John Halligan TD
Clare Daly TD
Ailbhe Smyth, Feminist campaigner
Add yours below if you wish.