The National LGBT Federation (NXF) has cautiously welcomed news that an LGBT group will be allowed to participate in next year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, following decades of exclusion and discrimination by organisers directed against the LGBT community.
Olivia McEvoy, Chair of the National LGBT Federation, stated, “As one of the many groups who campaigned against the prejudiced and homophobic ban on LGBT participation in this parade, we see this week’s announcement as progress towards a more accurate reflection of modern Irish values. For any celebration of ‘Irishness’ to so deliberately exclude a section of that global community was unacceptable and painfully out of sync with the vast majority of Irish people’s views today.
“We hope that the inclusion next year of a group representing LGBT employees of a major US network is not a one off gesture in response to strong corporate and political pressure against the anti-gay ban, and will instead lead to openly LGBT people and groups regularly participating in this parade as they do as a matter of course in most other global St Patrick’s Day festivities.
“LGBT people exist in every Irish community and deserve to have their contribution to Ireland and ‘Irishness’ celebrated on the same terms as all the other groups who march in these events. It’s a simple matter of fairness and equality.”