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09/22/2010 by JR Russell
The homophobes at the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade committee decided that 2011 should be a special, significant celebration to mark the 250th anniversary of the event. They decided to ask the Irish President to be the grand marshal of the parade.
Their mistake? President McAleese won’t participate in an event that specifically excludes groups on the basis of sexual orientation. Even conservative Ireland is beyond that.
Her refusal sends a pointed message to the organisers that their values are out of step with the culture they purport to celebrate.
McAleese’s refusal to accept the grand marshal invite will come as major blow to parade officials who were intent on making the day an historic showcase. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is now being considered a likely replacement.
A Catholic Archbishop (especially one who has signed the Manhattan Declaration of hate) is unlikely to argue with intolerance and exclusion. He is also unlikely to be the kind of memorable figure that President McAleese would be.
In case any of the organisers are reading this:
You know what would make your 2011 250th anniversary parade special, historic and noteworthy? Make it a parade that includes everyone who wants to celebrate her Irish heritage. And then ask President McAleese and Senator David Norris to be Grand Marshalls.
(h/t to Panti)