With determination in her step, the head of Staten Island's largest LGBT advocacy group attempted to apply for her organization, the Pride Center of Staten Island, to march next month in the borough's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
It's the second time Carol Bullock has tried to include her group in the parade, and the second time she was told no.
"We understand this parade is really important to Staten Island and all of the Irish who live here,” Bullock said. “We just want to be a part of that and celebrate."
The annual parade is organized by the Parade Committee of the Ancient Order of Hibernians under President Larry Cummings.
That's who Bullock addressed Sunday when she showed up to apply to march with the Pride Center's banner.
But she says Cummings told her that the banner "promoted the homosexual lifestyle," and that it, "goes against the tenets of the Catholic Church."
She says he even told her that the celebration is "not a sexual identification parade."
Cummings did not return calls or texts for comment.
While Bullock says she wasn't surprised by the hardline he's taken, she says she is shocked that the support of island elected officials hasn't helped.
Last week, Borough President James Oddo tweeted about the upcoming parade, saying, in part "...time has long passed that we include the Pride center SI. What a unifying moment it would be for our borough to reach an accord and have all of SI enjoying this happy day."
Assemblyman Michael Cusick says he has been meeting with parade organizers for months about this issue. He says he's still hopeful there can be a positive resolution.
"There are many people on Staten Island who believe as I do, that support that the pride center is able to march and march with a banner,” Cusick said. “Again, it goes back to what you believe the parade is about. Whether it involves religious tenets in the parade or if it is truly a parade, a civic parade of culture and heritage."
The decision not to allow the group to march would make Staten Island's St. Patrick’s Day parade the only one in the city that isn’t inclusive.
The issue dogged the big parade in Manhattan for decades until gays and lesbians were allowed to march under their own banners five years ago.