NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade Lifts Gay Ban

PARADEweb1-1409754386102-master675Facing increased pressure from the Irish government and various businesses and organizations, the organizers of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade have agreed to lift the ban on gay organizations marching under their own banner. Next year, OUT@NBCUniversal will be the first openly gay group to march in the parade under their own banner.

The organizers of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade said on Wednesday that they were lifting a ban on gay groups participating in the march, ending a policy that had prompted protests, court battles and bitter debate for decades.

The decision to allow a gay group to march under its own banner, first reported by The Irish Voice, came as Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to once again boycott the parade and the organizers faced pressure from employees of NBC Universal, which broadcasts the festivities.

Most notably, the organizers faced pressure from employees of NBCUniversal, which broadcasts the festivities and whose contract expires in 2015, to show that the parade was inclusive. The first group to march in next year’s parade under a gay banner will be OUT@NBCUniversal — a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employee resource group.

From The New York Times

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