St. Patrick's Day Hub




Matt Baume Looks At The Hypocrisy of Banning Gays From Marching In St. Patrick's Day Parades: VIDEO

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In a new video posted in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Matt Baume, whom you may recall from his weekly Marriage Watch updates, looks at the history of gay people being banned from marching in St. Patrick's Day parades, why that's hypocritical, and ultimately why it matters.

Baume draws a parallel between the Irish American experience and the gay American experience in that both communities have (at different times in history) been demonized and pushed to the fringes of society because of their other-ness. When Irish immigrants inundated the U.S. in the 19th century, they were treated as sub-human. The LGBT community has been treated in similarly inferior fashion for the vast majority of modern history even with recent strides on the civil rights front. So what to do when you're being told you're inferior? Put on a parade of course. The St. Patrick's Day parade allowed Irish individuals to celebrate pride in themselves and their community. Gay Pride parades across the country follow a similar logic; they counter the message that says you should be ashamed of yourself with a message that says "no, we're great"

So why does it matter if LGBT people can't march in certain St. Patrick's Day Parades? Because LGBT Irish Americans proud of their Irish-ness and their-gayness should be able to celebrate both of these characteristics at once. As Baume points out, gay Americans and Irish Americans are not defined by only one characteristic. 

Watch Baume's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Groups Make History By Marching In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade: VIDEO

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Two LGBT groups marched in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday for the first time in the event's 114-year history. 

OutVets (below right) and Boston Pride (above) were both invited to participate, ending a two-decade ban on gay groups. 

The Associated Press reports: 

OutVets"We march today for the memories of those thousands and thousands of people who went before us, some who went to their graves in the closet," OutVets founder and leader and Air Force veteran Bryan Bishop told his group before the parade. He called it "the beginning of the mission of this organization to honor the service and sacrifice of every single LGBT veteran, their family, their allies and every veteran in this country who fought so selflessly to defend the rights that we hold dear." ... 

Boston Pride member Freddy Murphy said the open inclusion of gay groups was a long time coming.

"I just remember watching the parade and kind of thinking it was hopeless, that my entire world was against me," said Murphy, a Dorchester neighborhood native whose father was a Boston firefighter. "This is why I'm marching today."

Also marching in the parade for the first time in 20 years was Boston's mayor. Mayors had boycotted the event every year since 1995, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the parade, to keep gay groups out.

The War Veterans Council voted 5-4 in December to allow OutVets to participate, and Boston Pride received an invitation last week. Mayor Marty Walsh was joined by Gov. Charlie Baker and Congresssman Seth Moulton, who marched with OutVets.  

“I’m thrilled that the St. Patrick’s Day parade is inclusive this year, and the addition of Boston Pride to the list of participants reflects the values of the South Boston neighborhood,” Walsh said in a statement. “With this year’s parade, Boston is putting years of controversy behind us.”

Knights of Columbus, the anti-gay Catholic group, boycotted the parade over the decision to allow LGBT groups. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio is boycotting the parade because only one LGBT group will be allowed to march. 

Watch a report on the parade from New England Cable News, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Gay Groups Make History By Marching In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade: VIDEO" »


NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Gay Group Exclusion: VIDEO

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) is likely to boycott the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade again this year because of the lack of LGBT groups taking part, reports Irish Central.

Bill_de_Blasio_InaugurationIt has also been confirmed that a majority of City Council members, including Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, will not take part. The council boycotted last year’s event and withdrew its banner in protest.

Council member Daniel Dromm said:

“I won’t march until an Irish gay group can march. And there will be no council banner in this year’s parade – of course there won’t.”

Dromm added that the decision to allow non-Irish LGBT group OUT@NBCUniversal to take part in this year’s parade came about purely for corporate reasons.

Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer joined Dromm in highlighting the parade’s non-inclusive stance:

“Once again I will not march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This parade is still not fully inclusive of the thousands of New Yorkers who have been turned away for decades from representing their heritage.

"Until all New Yorkers are able to represent themselves freely and march as proud members of our city’s vibrant Irish and Irish American LGBT community I will continue to boycott this parade.”

De Blasio will march in the St. Pat’s for All parade in Queens on Sunday, March 1st.  Brendan Fay, a co-founder of the alternative parade, welcomed the decision to allow OUT@NBCUniversal to take part in the main parade but agreed with Dromm that it “is looking increasingly like a trick to maintain the parade’s corporate sponsors and ensure that NBC continues to broadcast the parade.”

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny will not be taking part in this year's New York parade.

Following a boycott by several of NYC's prominent gay bars, last year Guinness announced that it had dropped sponsorship of the parade.

Watch a report on LGBT protests at the 2014 parade, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Boycott St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Gay Group Exclusion: VIDEO" »


Gay Veterans To March In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade - VIDEO

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Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will next year include representatives of gay veterans group OutVets, reports ABC News.

The parade’s organizers the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which in 1995 won a Supreme Court decision upholding their right to ban gay groups from the parade, yesterday voted 5-4 to allow OutVets to march in the parade scheduled for March 15th. The group has also been given permission to carry a blue banner with five white stars representing the branches of the military, and six vertical rainbow stripes.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fcce3e89970b-800wiBryan Bishop, OutVets founder and U.S. Air Force veteran, said:

"I think it's very significant. Ensuring that there is 100 percent inclusivity is important."

Council commander Brian Mahoney added that OutVets is being allowed to march because of their military service, not sexual orientation:

"This conforms to the tenets of the parade. The parade is devoted to honoring the service of veterans. It's is our aim to honor that service and the history of the Irish Catholics in Boston. Anything that detracts from that is verboten."

This year, LGBT group MassEquality was invited to take part in the parade but the invitation was later rescinded. Boston mayor Marty Walsh refused to take part last March because of the exclusion of LGBT people. Sam Adams beer also pulled out as sponsor of the parade.

In a similar move, Guinness dropped sponsorship of New York’s controversial St Patrick’s Day parade this year.

Watch Mahoney discuss his reasons for pulling out of the parade, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Veterans To March In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade - VIDEO" »


Catholic League's Bill Donohue: Anti-Gay Christians Are Kinda-Sorta Being Persecuted Like ISIS Victims - VIDEO

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Possibly sensing they are a dying breed gasping their last breath of hate, anti-gay religious right wingnuts are increasingly comparing their embattled selves to victims of ISIS.

Latest to the game is Bill Donohue of the Catholic League who earlier this week unveiled a Christmas billboard in Los Angeles that draws a comparison between the experiences of American “Christians” - the ones who spend their lives spreading anti-Christian messages - and Christians facing persecution in ISIS-controlled territories.

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Full of Christmas spirit, Donohue also makes it clear that gay people who refuse to take abuse from the religious right in silence are in fact the intolerant ones.

According to Right Wing Watch, in a statement, Donohue said that the billboard is aimed at Hollywood:

“No, the Hollywood moguls who disrespect Christians are not the same as radical Muslims who behead us, but both are full of hate. Moreover, both need to be challenged. Christians are fed up with the barbarians abroad and the bigots at home. It’s time all these bullies learned to practice the virtue of tolerance and the meaning of diversity.”

Happy Christmas to you too, Bill.

Donahue has also excused himself from next year's New York St. Patrick's Day Parade following the decision to allow one corporate LGBT group to participate.

Watch the perennial moaner whine about St. Patrick's Day, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Catholic League's Bill Donohue: Anti-Gay Christians Are Kinda-Sorta Being Persecuted Like ISIS Victims - VIDEO" »


Irish LGBT Activists Protest Gay Group In New York St. Patrick's Day Parade - VIDEO

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Irish LGBT activists are protesting against the decision to allow OUT@NBCUniversal to take part in next year’s New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the event continues to exclude other gay groups, reports Newsweek.

OUT@NBCUniversal, Universal’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight Ally Employee Alliance, will be the first LGBT group to participate in the parade.

This year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio boycotted the parade because of its anti-gay policy. The City Council, many Irish politicians and Guinness followed suit. Despite this, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny made the decision to take part last March.

In a letter to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, activists from groups including Irish Queers argued:

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb0798ec48970d-800wi“Instead of that pressure leading to Irish LGBTQ groups taking their rightful place in the community’s parade, OUT@NBCUniversal has jumped into the space it created.

"OUT@NBCUniversal is the gay employee/marketing group of the parade’s sponsor. The Irish LGBTQ community is still excluded from the parade. The ‘lifting of the ban’ is a sham.”

The letter also reiterates recent demands that OUT@NBCUniversal “withdraw from the parade until Irish LGBTQ groups are part of the parade” and calls for de Blasio and Mark-Viverito to boycott next year’s event.

Irish Queers was denied a request to take part in 2015 because organizers say the parade is full. It is thought that two other Irish LGBT groups’ applications were also denied.

De Blasio and Mark-Viverito have both indicated that they have yet to make a decision regarding next March 17th.

Watch a report on the fight for LGBT inclusion in the New York parade, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Irish LGBT Activists Protest Gay Group In New York St. Patrick's Day Parade - VIDEO" »


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