New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day organization today announced that one LGBT group will be allowed to march behind its own banner during the 2015 parade.
The parade committee, in a statement made available to The Associated Press, said on Wednesday that OUT(at)NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group at the company that broadcasts the parade, would be marching up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on March 17 under an identifying banner. It’s unclear how the group was chosen: whether OUT(at)NBCUniversal, which is described on its website as “the affinity group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at NBCUniversal,” was invited by the organizers or applied. Parade directors voted unanimously to include the group, the statement said. Other gay groups can apply to march in future years, spokesman Bill O’Reilly said. In the past, organizers said gays were free to march but only with other groups and not with banners identifying them as gay. Most marching units in the parade carry identifying banners. There are about 320 units in next year’s parade, the committee said.
Not good enough. Not even close. According to the above-linked AP story, next year’s grand marshal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is supportive of allowing NBCUniversal to march.
UPDATE: GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis reacts: “It’s about time. Discrimination has no place on America’s streets, least of all on Fifth Avenue. As an Irish-Catholic American, I look forward to a fully inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade that I can share with my wife and children, just as my own parents shared with me. Until then, parade organizers must be held accountable to ending this ban once and for all.”