For the Irish there is no grander parade than the St. Patrick's Day procession in New York. In fact everyone is Irish that day and the city is carpeted with a sea of green. Which makes it all the more disturbing that members of the LGBT community cannot march in the parade with a banner proudly delineating their heritage. The Parade Committee forbids any indication of LGBT participation.
Because of that bigotry, even the Irish Prime Minister will no longer walk in the parade. Most elected officials now avoid it and participate in the Queen's St. Patrick's Day Parade which allows LGBT involvement. Can any of you imagine politicians, citizen groups and bands marching in a parade that banned African Americans or Jews? Of course not; New York would do everything it could to discourage such a discriminatory event from taking place at all.
That is why NBC's enthusiastic coverage of the parade, underwriting costs, giving it air time and having one of their executives be a Grand Marshall is so very, very disturbing. As GLAAD struggles these days, they should be visiting the executives at NBC demanding they stop giving money to such an exclusionary parade and cease coverage until all New Yorkers can feel the pride of the Irish. This would be worthy effort for the organization because very real and tragic discrimination is taking place supported by one of the major networks.
Shame on NBC for standing beside, supporting and lending credibility to a group that has as a policy "No Gays Allow".
Ironically there was a time in New York when there were signs everywhere saying "No Irish Need Apply" and now they basically are reading "No LGBT Irish Can March." It is a sad day for the wearer of the green. The Irish eyes are no longer smiling.