Wednesday 26 April 2017

Orla Tinsley - Identity politics are tricky - particularly at the St Patrick's Day Parade

The Saint Patrick's Day parade on New York's Fifth Avenue. AP
The Saint Patrick's Day parade on New York's Fifth Avenue. AP
Spectators enjoying the St Patrick’s Day street parade in New York. Reuters

Orla Tinsley

The news that Guinness has pulled out of the New York St Patrick's Day parade due to it's ban on LGBT participants is an unsuprising blow to the controversial festivities.

New York Mayor Bill Di Blasio illuminated the issues some weeks back when he announced he would boycott the annual display of Irishness because of the LGBT community ban.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh followed suit and is boycotting his own city's parade. He cites his duty to 'do my best to ensure all Bostonians are free to participate fully in civic life' as the reason. Although rights to march in the Boston parade had been ironed out the right to hold a banner that said LGBT was not afforded. It was the deciding factor for the mayor and an admirable one at that.

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