We had two staff members at the press conference, and what they reported is quite interesting. Three gay groups announced that they have applied to march in New York’s 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Irish Queers, Lavender and Green Alliance, and St. Pat’s for All. They are furious with parade officials for not including them, and they are particularly angry at NBC (the network that televises the parade) for securing the right of an NBC gay group, OUT@NBC, to march, but not them.
Here is how these three gay groups characterized the NBC gambit: “Gay corporate staff can march (under a banner that doesn’t say the word ‘gay’), NBC saves face, and the parade keeps NBC’s sponsorship—without doing a thing to end the exclusion of LGBT groups.”
Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers said there will “absolutely” be a protest at the 2015 march if these groups are denied the right to march. More important, Ann Northrop spoke at the press conference. She is most known for helping to organize the 1989 Nazi-like storming of a Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; this is when Act-Up disrupted the Mass by chaining themselves to the pews and spitting the Eucharist on the floor. Now Northrop is back looking to crash the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
John Lahey, the vice chairman of the parade committee, stunned us last week when he said that other gay groups may march in the 2015 parade. Now he has told the Irish Times that they are under pressure to “shorten” the parade. Who issued this edict? And does this mean that a contingent from the pro-life community will not be marching? We gave our support contingent on a formal rule change that would also allow pro-life Catholics to march under their own banner. Stay tuned.