VIDEO: Irish Politicians Hit Out At 'Discriminatory' St Patrick's Day Parade
A number of Irish TDs and Senators have rowed behind a campaign for the inclusion of LGBT groups in the New York City St Patrick's Day parade.
The controversy over the exclusion of gay rights groups from the New York and Boston parades has grown in recent weeks, with a major breakthrough on Saturday seeing advocacy group Mass Equality invited to discuss taking part in the South Boston event. It is understood that a threat from Mayor Marty Walsh, a son of immigrants from Galway, to boycott the event proved the a catalyst for the agreement and it is hoped that further progress could now be made in both cities.
Independent TD John Halligan, Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power, Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik and Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer recorded a video message on Friday, blasting the action to exclude LGBT groups from the parade and commending the organisers of the inclusive St Pat's For All event.
"We believe that it is wrong to exclude Irish American LGBT banners and members of the Irish American LGBT community from taking part in the main New York City St Patrick's Day parade. It is discriminatory, unfair and completely out of touch with the values of modern Ireland," said the group.
"Everyone should be able to participate in all events, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender, creed or colour."