Irish Queers protested the exclusion of gay and lesbian marchers from the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City Wednesday. The group has protested the event, the largest of its kind in the world, every year since 1993.
According to NY1 News, Irish Queers disagrees with the claim that the parade is a private religious event that can exclude gay and lesbian people who march openly under a banner. They say the use of public property and services like police and firefighters shows that the parade benefits from tax dollars. They plan to file a lawsuit barring NYPD and FDNY from participating next year.
The discrimination of the parade ensures that few city and statewide politicians attend every year. Attendees included Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rick Lazio, a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. NY1 News also reports on the thin showing.
City council speaker Christine Quinn, who is Irish and gay, told NY1 News that it "boggles the mind" that parade organizers cannot find a way to allow gays and lesbians to march.