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NYC's gay council
leader to march in Dublin St. Patrick's parade

NYC's gay council
leader to march in Dublin St. Patrick's parade

New York City council speaker Christine Quinn plans to march in Dublin, Ireland's St. Patrick's Day parade this year, again snubbing the New York City parade because of its organizers' refusal to allow gay and lesbian groups to march. Quinn, an Irish-American who is the city's first openly gay council speaker, is heading to the Dublin parade at the personal invitation of officials there. She's expected to be joined by other members of the New York City council as well as the lord mayor of Dublin, the speaker of the lower house of the Irish parliament, and Dublin city council members.

"My participation in Dublin's parade is also an opportunity to march openly as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, something we have not been able to do in New York City," Quinn said in a statement Sunday. "I hope my participation in the Dublin march will send a message about the importance of inclusion."

The New York City parade is organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, who have denied permission to gays and lesbians to march under their own banner since 1991. The group has said it does not want to politicize the event.

Quinn tried to broker a deal with the group last year after taking office as speaker in January. But it didn't work, so she boycotted the event as she had in her previous years as a council member.

During her upcoming trip, Quinn also expects to speak about the need for "a lasting peace in Northern Ireland," her office said. The Conference for American Ireland Relations will be footing the bill for the New York council trip to Ireland, according to Quinn's office. (AP)

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