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Here We Go Again: NYC St. Pat's Parade May Not Welcome Gays Back

Here We Go Again: NYC St. Pat's Parade May Not Welcome Gays Back


John Dunleavy, chairman of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, says he will try to keep LGBT orgs from participating in the 2016 march up Fifth Avenue.

The chairman of New York City's famously homophobic St. Patrick's Day parade says gay groups will "have a problem" participating in the 2016 parade and is looking for a new partner for the live broadcast.

John Dunleavy is reportedly still angry that WNBC-TV, the Comcast-owned and operated station that has broadcast the parade for several years had threatened to drop out, unless gay groups were allowed to participate.

After losing Guinness and a number of other key sponsors in 2014, organizers compromised and permitted NBC's LGBT employee group, OUT@NBCUniversal, to march this year. Sponsors returned, and NBC backed off its threat to cease broadcasting the parade.

No other LGBT groups were allowed to march, and for that reason New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march.

Irish Central reports Dunleavy will oppose the inclusion of gay groups in next year's event, and organizers have been looking for a new station to carry the march up Fifth Avenue.

The report says local Fox station, WNYW-TV Channel 5, has already passed on the rights, and the Tribune-owned station, WPIX-TV Channel 11, is expected to turn down the chance to air the parade as well.

Dunleavy, 78, told a reporter that he will run for the chairmanship again next year and will stand his ground on the inclusion of LGBT groups. The County Westmeath native also repeatedly told attendees at organizing events that he is opposed to gay groups marching in the 2016 parade.

Dunleavy told the reporter during his interview, "The parade itself is not there to promote anybody's particular agenda in any way, shape, or form. The parade represents our faith, our heritage, and our culture, nothing more and nothing less. So we're going to keep to that, and anybody who wants to mix that up is going to have a problem next year."

In an interview with the Irish Voice, one parade organizer told the outlet, "This is all about the gay issue. It's unfortunate that John Dunleavy just can't let it go."

Ireland voted in favor of marriage equality in a national referendum in May.

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