They say that they “are happy and relieved to announce that, after 25 years of struggle, we have won! The NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade has dropped its bigoted ban: an Irish LGBTQ contingent will finally march with its own banner in the parade next March 17th”.
From the beginning, their demand has been for an Irish LGBTQ contingent to march behind their own banner saying who they are, like all other contingents. The decision to invite the Lavender and Green Alliance does just that!
The group stated:
“This is a victory for the grassroots organizing, civil disobedience, and street protest of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization and its successor, Irish Queers. Protests held the line year after year where politics constantly failed. It’s also a victory for our beautiful queer and Irish community of support, stretching from New York City to Ireland and beyond”.
Irish Queers also stated that the desire was about much more than LGBTQ people. It was about discrimination of all sorts, including exclusion and racism, and to stem the “homophobia-fueled tide of AIDS deaths”.
The group are also grateful to those who helped and supported them along the way:
“[W]e’re thankful to the many ordinary New Yorkers who supported us over the last 25 years, as well as the many elected official[s] who refused to march in the parade while we were left out. We’re thankful for David Dinkins and others who made real, tangible tries at giving Irish queer people their rightful place in the parade. And we’re grateful to and proud of the original members of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization – who were also part of ACT UP, the Lesbian Avengers, and other important queer activist forces – who laid the groundwork for this victory”.
Tired but happy, the group are glad it’s all over, and said:
“We look forward to marching up Fifth Avenue with our community”.
And they will be celebrating that victory at the iconic Stonewall Inn, with a welcome for anyone who is in the area in New York on Saturday next, October 3rd!
Saturday, Oct. 3