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Irish President Turns Down Invite to Grand Marshal NYC St Patrick's Day Parade Because Gays Are Not Allowed

Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland, has said no to an invitation to be grand marshal of New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade because it continues to discriminate against gay people, the Irish Times reports:

Mcaleese "The turn down is said to be connected to the issue of gays being refused the right to march in the parade under their own banners, and McAleese’s strong relationship with gay and lesbian organizations in Ireland. As she will also be in the last year of her term in 2011, officials in the president’s office were reluctant to become embroiled in a major controversy about her taking part in the parade which has excluded gay organizations for over 20 years...McAleese’s refusal to accept the grand marshal invite will come as major blow to parade officials who were intent on making the day an historic showcase. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is now being considered a likely replacement. Despite a reputation as a conservative Catholic when she took office, McAleese has become a firm advocate for marginalized groups in Irish societies including gay groups. She is very popular with such groups and was risking putting one of the signature accomplishments of her presidency at risk if she accepted the New York invite to lead the parade."

Homophobe Dolan has insisted "we're not anti-gay...we're pro-marriage."

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  1. I'm guessing she'd rather be remembered for putting the signature on Ireland's Civil Unions law, than be associated with anybody who discriminates.
    Good for her!

    Posted by: Rob | Sep 23, 2010 1:40:54 PM

  2. Thanks Mary!

    Posted by: pete | Sep 23, 2010 1:43:36 PM

  3. The Irish president has stood against discrimination and intolerance all her life. I could not be more proud of her principled stand.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Sep 23, 2010 1:45:02 PM

  4. She's an incredible president! Before being elected as head of state, she worked on the campaign to decriminalise homosexuality and has given inspirational and eloquent speeches to young LGBT people across this island. She's great!

    Posted by: David | Sep 23, 2010 1:45:51 PM

  5. If Timothy Dolan is so pro-marriage, why doesn't he get married himself?

    Put up or shut up.

    Posted by: esther blodgett | Sep 23, 2010 1:47:58 PM

  6. find me a president anywhere who can speak on homophobia as perceptively as this....

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 23, 2010 1:52:56 PM

  7. Good for her! Perhaps people like her can eventually shame us into acting like compassionate human beings.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 23, 2010 2:04:07 PM

  8. Were that we could be proud to call president such a principled leader, such a...what's the term?...a fierce advocate.

    But good for President McAleese and good for Ireland! Despite any kind of reputation the place may have, I have visited extensively twice now, and found that the gay issue is such a non-issue there. I was welcomed openly and warmly by all people, straight and gay. Truly the friendliest place on earth.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Sep 23, 2010 2:06:56 PM

  9. Excellent !!!

    Posted by: jerry | Sep 23, 2010 2:10:10 PM

  10. @Brian:

    Thanks for posting that speech. It was the very definition of compassion: she put herself in the shoes of LGBT youth and understood the struggles, internal and external. Amazing.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Sep 23, 2010 2:11:20 PM

  11. President McAleese was the commencement speaker at my graduation this past May and she fucking rocked. At the time I didn't know much about her but she kept my attention and I was surprised how progressive she was. This makes me an even bigger fan.

    Posted by: SKOC211 | Sep 23, 2010 2:17:11 PM

  12. Wow! I had no idea that Ireland had become so gay-friendly. To think that I once decided not to visit Dublin while I was in the UK because I assumed it was too conservative. I guess I'll be adding Ireland to my list of future destinations.

    Posted by: Vlad | Sep 23, 2010 2:37:55 PM

  13. I've met Madam President and she is quite wonderful. Engaging, articulate and sincere.
    Very proud of her.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Sep 23, 2010 2:52:45 PM

  14. Bravo. Some one taking a stand.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 23, 2010 2:59:03 PM

  15. I love how people use terms like "pro-marriage" and "family values" to describe how they are not homophobic.

    Posted by: Kevin | Sep 23, 2010 3:08:20 PM

  16. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York - today's editing provided by The Department of Redundancy Department.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Sep 23, 2010 3:18:16 PM

  17. HOLY CRAP, This woman is... just... FANTASTIC. Wow, love this, love her, lets make her President here!

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 23, 2010 3:49:06 PM

  18. A President that has integrity and keeps her word. What a concept. Wish we had a president with those kinds of VALUES AND MORALS here in the USA. I know it's wishful thinking but a gay guy can dream of REAL LEGAL equality here in the US someday can't he?

    Posted by: SFshawn | Sep 23, 2010 4:19:24 PM

  19. Now *that* is a fierce advocate.

    Posted by: Hans | Sep 23, 2010 4:23:27 PM

  20. this is how a leader should lead-by setting a sterling example.

    Posted by: alguien | Sep 23, 2010 4:30:31 PM

  21. Good. Speaking as a 1/2 Irish/American, those parade cock sucker organizers who block gays deserve contempt. She's made a principled stand. I understand she's from the north; I hope some of the positive things she's accomplished in the republic are filtering into the north.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 23, 2010 4:44:53 PM

  22. @VLAD : Sorry you missed out on that visit.....Ireland has changed immeasurably over the pas ten to fifteen years.....
    Gay is the new black.
    As for the President, she was my examiner in Constitutional law at Trinity.....she is the fairest most open minded person I've ever met.
    Now let's hope that David Norris, gay rights campaigner runs for President of Ireland in the upcoming election.
    And fuck the Ancient Order of Hibernians bigots.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 23, 2010 4:49:55 PM

  23. How right you are President; Bigotry is formed in the human heart.

    can we send a copy of this speech to every member of the Senate who voted against DADT yesterday.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 23, 2010 4:59:06 PM

  24. When is the Ancient order of Hibernians, who organise the NY St. Patrick's Day Parade, going to realise that being anti-gay is being anti-Irish ?

    We have moved on you stupid old farts !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 23, 2010 5:22:31 PM

  25. I don't really go in for all that national pride usually but things like this do make me feel proud to be Irish.

    Posted by: Urmensch | Sep 23, 2010 5:33:43 PM

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