New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has announced that he will be abstaining from marching in New York City’s famous St. Patrick’s Day parade out of protest for a supposed lack of sensitivity to issues angering homosexual activists.
De Blasio announced on Tuesday that he will not be participating in the St. Patrick’s Day parade due to a ban on signs and banners promoting gay issues. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city,” said de Blasio. “But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade.”
The parade is a longstanding tradition that pays homage to St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The parade also serves as a longstanding celebration of the city’s Irish-American population. It often draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and includes marching bands and other traditional aspects of Irish culture.
For decades, the organizers have banned homosexual activism from the parade and the organizers have maintained that they reserve a First Amendment right to select who participates in the parade. They have also long claimed that homosexuals are welcome to participate in the parade, but need to do so without carrying identifying banners or signs.
Bill Donohue, the head of the city’s Catholic League, stated, “Personally, I am delighted. I lead the Catholic League contingent every year, and I do not want to march with a public official who does not want to be associated with Irish Catholics.”
De Blasio’s refusal to participate in the parade out of supposed solidarity with homosexual activists signals a hierarchy of political priorities. It appears obvious that de Blasio is more than willing to offend the city’s Irish population by snubbing their parade in order to further honor the gay community.
However, it should be noted that the St. Patrick’s Day parade is not a parade designed to celebrate the homosexual community, but is, instead, a longstanding celebration of Irish heritage.
Similarly, it would be inappropriate for an Irish-American to march in a gay pride parade with a sign advocating for a united Ireland.
It is an outrage for the mayor of New York to so rudely snub the millions of Americans that are of Irish descent in order to score political points with the gay community. The simple fact remains that the St. Patrick’s Day parade celebrates Irish heritage, not sexual orientation. It is neither the time nor the place to advance a “gay rights” agenda.
Mayor de Blasio had a chance to showcase his support for both groups by attending both the St. Patrick’s Day parade and other gay-oriented events. Instead, he made his choice clearly know; he would rather disrespect Irish-Americans than stand strong against those looking to hijack the Irish celebration for their own political purposes.