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The Call Blog: Parades, Protests, Politics

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I lived in Murray Hill for 12 years. I watched countless police officers look the other way (literally) when the green vomit hit the pavement on Third Avenue. Too bad cops don't write tickets for all the public intoxication or public urination they witness on St. Patrick's Day. If they did, they would bring in enough revenue to give retroactive raises to every municipal worker in town.



The annual St. Patrick's Day celebration is underway in New York City. Irish-Americans marched up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for the world's largest parade celebrating Irish heritage. After two decades of participation from previous mayors, Bill de Blasio boycotted the event because organizers prohibit marchers to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT.

Adding to the political controversy this year, Guinness beer joined Heineken and abruptly dropped its sponsorship of the parade yesterday. Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan said today he supports the participation of individual gays. He said, "I know that there are thousands and thousands of gay people marching in this parade, and I'm glad they are." What do you say?

Do you support Mayor de Blasio's decision to boycott this parade because gays and lesbians cannot march behind their own banner? What's your reaction to Cardinal Dolan's comments? If you live or work near the parade route, how does the celebratory aftermath affect you?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



The St. Patricks Day parade, is just what it says - it's about honoring St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. It is not about advertising ones personal partner preferences. That is a selfish thing to do, as if someone being gay goes above what the parade is about - it's not about being gay - it is about honoring St. Patrick. Be gay, be in the parade but do not advertise yourself to attract attention to yourself because it's not about you.

Happy St. Patricks Day,
Esmerelda



Hi John

I respect Mayor Diblasio on his decision to boycott the ST. Pat's parade just because they wont the the LBGT march Diblasio is the mayor for the whole city not just one group of people. Mayor Bloomberg was a mayor only for the rich people he didn't care about the minority people Diblasio should be our mayor for 12 years he would make this city better

Herman
upper west side



John;

I'm the Mayor and Council Speaker will boycott in the Muslim Day parade and The Salute to Israel parades. No gay groups march under separate banners at these events

kate
midtown east



Ireland has allowed gays to march openly for 10 years They even won best float There a surprise huh

Jim
UES



I was one of the thousands who lobbied Albany furiously in support of marriage equality just three years ago -- having said that, however, I had wished to attend the parade, and didn't only because of the temperature, as I do respect the opponents to marriage equality, and their position as an honestly held one, if a flawed one.

And I believe profoundly that Mr. De Blasio made a mistake, both as a matter of policy and politics, by staying away from the parade. For starters, he was elected mayor of ALL of New York City, not just the politically-correct minority that put him into office. Additionally, this is one of the biggest public events of the year associated with the Catholic faith (and it is a celebration of the Feast Day for a Catholic saint, after all). His decision to boycott the parade indicates a lack of respect on his part for the opposing side on the issue of gay rights, and their beliefs, whatever the basis for those beliefs. And apart from that issue, in terms of raw politics, someone should remind the mayor that Catholics are the largest religious denomination in the City of New York, and he will almost certainly need public support at some point in his four years as mayor, for some of what he hopes to achieve.

Perhaps his personal preference was not to attend, but he should be reminded that he is now a public figure, and holds public office, and no longer enjoys the luxury of making decisions purely as a solitary private citizen.

Bruce
Upper West Side
Manhattan



I shared with my coworkers well before Cardinal Dolan stated that there were already gay people marching in the SPDP they just weren't carrying banners that identified that they were LGBT individuals. I don't think that if the sponsors all drop out of the parade that the parade won't go on for years to come. I wonder who the sponsors were in the first years of the parade? Did they even have sponsors? Who knows perhaps the parade will gain some other supporters going forward.

The people who have perished in the 116th explosion and the people who were riding on Malaysia 370 and their families have some real problems. Can't we all just get along?

kathy from Throggs Neck da bronx



I think any one who is interested in marching in this parade, should have had the right to march in it. Heterosexual or Homosexual - St. Patrick's Day is for ALL. I don't care what religion you are, what race you are or what sexual preference you have - a person is a person is a person. We all should be able to enjoy marching in a parade, being a part of a celebration etc. It shouldn't matter.

As a parent of a former marching band high school student, I was thrilled to be able to march along with the band - whether it was a borough celebration or the "Big" City celebration. Everyone is entitled to have the same enjoyment and politics and protests should be put aside for the sake of the Parade.

I do not agree with the organizers of the Parade that kept the LGBT out but I also don't agree with the Mayor who stayed away. He is supposed to be representing the entire City of New York and when a Parade is being held in this great City, he should be there. He's entitled to his opinion about Gay rights and his opinion about the organizers but this isn't the way to deal with them.

Jessica
Arden Heights



Hi John,

All I know is that this DeBlasio and persons of his administration tried to rain on our parade today and I say this as the daughter of an Italian immigrant. As far as Guinness and Heineken are concerned they will contribute to anyone and will do so because all they need to worry about is lowering their taxes. That’s their bottom line. All this mayor wants are just our taxes and we get nothing in return. [ONE MORE TIME I WAS BORN AND STILL LIVE HERE AND I HAVE RIGHTS JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE] This parade has long been in existence in this city and we as Catholics have celebrated this Catholic Saint named St. Patrick for a long time and in honor of all the Irish we would wear something green in their honor on that day. This is being made a mockery of all of this and it is a damn shame that this DeBlasio is so defiant about other peoples history and our way of life.

So all you Irish : Hope you all have a Happy St. Patty’s Day and toast one to me !!!

Maxiee
mp



Today I tip my cap and raise my icy cold Budweiser to the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade for NOT caving in to the DEMANDS of the LGBT. For crying out loud. This parade is honoring an Irish Saint! Not the same sex agenda!Not everything in this city has to evolve around the gay community. Do the other parades that march down 5th Avenue demand that the Gay Pride Parade change IT's celebration? Of course not. So why does the LGBT feel it's their place to do so in this case? It appears that the "victims" have now become BULLY'S!

Norm
Upper Eastside



Yes, I support Mayor De Blasio's decision to boycott this parade because gays and lesbians couldn't march behind their own banners. For God's sake....we are in the year 2014.... As For Cardinal Dolan comments, I think he could have done more to convince the parade's organizers to change their minds. As His Holiness Pope Francis said, "Who Am I To Judge?"

Ralph/BayRidge



John,

It should be St. Drunken Louts Day.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



I support the mayor. I think we need to show the same acceptance in every parade. Yes, Irish Pride and Gay Pride are two diff parades, but in the end its not about separating groups but marching in together and aknowledging that EVERYONE counts as part of the community.

C.C.



The Lgbt parade is in June. The St. Patricks parade was today and there was alot of malicious mischeif going on today in the liberal media and I believe they want to explosion of our race. Between what Spike Lee did with the Italians and what the Mayor did today they should ban all movie cameras going into the City. There all targeting us and they don't even know we are liberal too.

Anonymous



Dear John,

In one way, I do have some support for the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade since their policy states: "sexual orientation is not allowed to be displayed," being it is a cultural and religious holiday celebration.

Irish people normally wear green clothes and carry signs that read: Happy St. Patrick's Day. This parade may never be Irish again if gays were allowed in the parade because they would wear rainbow clothing and carry signs reading "Support Gay Rights."

Which is why I support the decision to prohibted gays from the parade.

Kevin
Clifton, Staten Island



If I am a christian and wanted to march in the gay and lesbian parade...with a banner with Jesuschrist and a bible verse...would they let me march in their parade?...

Domingo



Our mayor is just another nut who wants everyone to know what a swell white fellow he is.

MZ
Richmond Hill Queens



It was a glorious parade, I watched my nephew march in the parade, as I have watched my nieces march in years past. I watched my alma mater Archbishop Molloy march. And I didn't have to waste my time watching Bill DiBlasio, Leticia James, Scott Springer and Melissa Mark-Viverito. If the Ancient Order of Hibernians allowed the LGBT's to march then the next thing the politicians would be upset about would be that there were horses in the parade. Let's have more parades without politicians.

John



I believe in equality however, being LGBT is your personal orientation not an organization. I wouldn't march in the St. Patrick's Day parade with a banner stating I'm a Heterosexual." Gay or straight, you march as an organization. The Mayor should have marched because he represents the New York City. He needs to remember that.

Lily, Queens



SCOTUS established that the parade organizers had the right to set paramaters. The LBGT refused to adhere to the parameters. Case closed. As far as the accidental mayor and his entourage they will not be remembered in ten years.

Jack B
Queens Village



Absolutely ridiculous…ALL are welcome to march and always were….many of those in the Fire Dept., Sanitation Dept, Marching Bands & Irish societies are also homosexuals…. NOBODY MARCHES UNDER A BANNER DEPICTING THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCE and quite frankly, this is not the parade for it. Don’t they have the GAY PRIDE parade?…this is for IRISH PRIDE, so give it a rest already P.S.- nobody missed DiBlasio today and quite frankly he is actually promoting hate and division.

Very truly disgusted
Colleen



It always seems to come down to politics, but acceptance works both ways. Over-generalization and stereotyping continually cause grief and controversy everywhere. Not all those against LBGT rights are bad people. It's our choice to support whatever movements we want to. I choose to support LGBT rights, but would never try to force my viewpoints and beliefs on another. We as humans seem to forget, that the same entitlements we enjoy are given to all. The mayor should have the right to march if he wants to, and it should not have anything to do with politics. The mayor's presence would have been nothing more than a thank you to the GOOD people in the parade; many of whom are in support of LGBT rights. Moreover, many of the parade marchers support other great causes all over this great city, such as charities, shelters, and education. True equal rights works in all directions.

Adam



New York City has seen a lot of discrimination in the past, and Mayor DeBlasio has resurrected that and probably sees no political consequences. As to Heinekin's and Guinness, hopefully Irish Americans won't buy their products and won't vote for a person who does not respect their cultural traditions.

Mary



Why do the LGBT folks want to march under a specific banner in this parade. Do they march under a special banner in the Peurto Rico Day Parade, The West Indian Day Parade, the Polaski Day Parade and any of the many other parades that we have in this city? The Parade is not about them. The Gay Pride Parade is all about them and fair enough. Nobody tries to intrude a separate group into their parade. I don't understand why they want to make such a big deal about their sexual orientation when it comes to the St. Paddy's Parade.

Frances
East Village



Public tax money pays for the police presence to have this St. Patrick's Day parade. why hasn't anyone brought this up? of course gays and lesbians should be allowed to march.

Melissa
Kew Gardens



Let the politicians and other pro gay and anti 1st amendment panderers support the minority. I do not drink their beer and do not care for the socialist Mayor anyway.

Roscoe
Park Hill



Regardless of how you feel on this issue:

St. Pat's day parade is a celebration of Irish heritage. It's not a platform for making political statements, whether LGBTQ, fracking, Crimea, etc. All of these issues have merit - but the St. Patrick's day parade isn't the venue for them.

What concerns me is the perception that if you're not for LGBTQ participating in parade, you're anti-gay. This is emphatically not the case. Not every parade is a platform for hashing out one's personal political issue of the day. It's that simple.

Make it about politics, and you lost the focus on Irish heritage. I'm not willing to lose it for LGBTQ or any other group/cause.

Catherine



Gays and Lesbians have always contributed in every facet of society, whether they've been in or out of the closet. It's shameful, in this day and time, we don't see the forest through the tree's. A parade for St. Patrick's Day should be all inclusive, because the very streets walked on, were paved and sculpted by gays and lesbians.

Michael in Woodside



I think it is easy for heterosexual people to say that that Irish homosexuals should be able to sit their sexuality aside for their ethnicity when in reality being homosexual is just as important as being Irish. The Irish gay community should not have to pick between one or the other but should be welcomed to represent both at the parade if they so choose. The insensitivity of others on this issue and the normalcy of homosexual discrimination is part of the reason why the mayor made the right decision by not attending the parade this year. I completely support Mayor De Blasio.

Bianca,
Brooklyn



I am sure there are gay police officers or firefighters marching in the Saint Patrick's day parade but they march as firefighters and police officers. Their sexual orientation is not the reason why they march in the parade. It is wrong in my view and I have the "right" to have the wrong view because the Constitution says I can. And I have the same "right" to say that homosexuality is wrong and sinful just like adultery or fornication is and I don't want anyone that thinks my personal view is wrong to force their "correct" interpretation of moral equality on me! DeBlasio wrong time to make a stand!

George
Brooklyn



what the mayor doesn't understand is that the heterosexuals are not permitted to march with a banner proclaiming their sexual preference either. The parade is not predicated on ones sexual preference.

Dem



Eric in Hell's Kitchen says : I never realized NOBODY'S allowed to carry signs or banners or placards . I'm gay but I don't think that being gay entitles anyone to SPECIAL RIGHTS . If nobody carries banners , then why should we be allowed to ? The law says EQUAL RIGHTS . Not EXTRA RIGHTS !



Bill DeBlasio has spit in the faces of Irish Cops and Firemen by not supporting them at the parade. Shame on him...

John P.



Marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade under a LGBT banner is like the NY football Giants celebrating their Super Bowl championship by marching in a Yankees World Series championship parade. No one is taking away from the former, its just irrelevant to the laters celebration.

JT



John from Brookyln here..

The fact that is being lost in this conversation is that visibility is the one factor that has been so effective in forwarding LGBT rights in the last few years. This isn't about gay activists forcing a political agenda into a parade. This is about reminding people that their neighbors, coworkers, and fellow citizens have a sexual preference that many have been forced to hide for years despite the fact that they look like you and me. This is a citywide event that consumes the tax dollars of the very people that are being specifically excluded, and to pretend that this is anything but discrimination is ridiculous.

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