For the first time, an LGBT group will march in next year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade behind their own banner, despite parade controversy, a source has told the Irish Voice.
Today, at a reception at the New York Athletic Club, a source close to the parade committee has said that Cardinal Timothy Dolan will be named as the grand marshal of the 254th St. Patrick’s Day parade. A group of LGBT staff members from the television network, NBC, will be also be marching despite last years controversy that erupted over the exclusion of LGBT banners.
NBC, the network that broadcasts the parade, threatened to pull coverage of the unless a compromise was reached to include an LGBT group in the celebrations. The source cited that the withdrawal of major corporate sponsorships as a huge factor in bringing about the change, along with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s boycott.
“Once an iconic company like Guinness showed it was standing up pretty much everyone else had to follow,” the source added.
At the time, the Irish drink manufacturer made a statement saying,“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.”
An official statement from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is expected later today.