Category: Archive

Bronx welcomes gay paraders

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Irish gays and lesbians will be stepping out behind their own banner in a New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year.

When the Bronx St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at noon this Sunday, from the corner of East Tremont and Lafayette Avenues in the Throggs Neck section, a contingent of Irish gays and lesbians will be marching behind a banner bearing the words "Lavender & Green Alliance, Muintir ‘rach na hÉireann."

"This is the first parade to welcome an Irish lesbian and gay group," Drogheda, Co. Louth, native Brendan Fay, a founder of the Lavender & Green Alliance, told the Echo on Tuesday. "It’s great news. This is the moment Irish lesbians and gays have waited for since 1991."

Fay made the announcement of the Lavender & Green Alliance’s inclusion in the parade during a gay and lesbian celebration in St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Manhattan last weekend attended by about 300 people. The event was dedicated to the late civil rights activist and New York City Council President Paul O’Dwyer.

"Last Saturday we were welcomed by a Catholic parish to hold our own annual gathering," Fay said. He added that this and the inclusion of Irish gays and lesbians in the Bronx parade was "terrific for the Irish community and for the city."

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"I think what’s going on here in the Bronx is giving the lead in this city and, hopefully, the Fifth Avenue parade will, some day, step into line with the fair-mindedness of the Bronx Irish.

"If a Catholic parish has welcomed us and now the Bronx Irish is welcoming us, surely it’s time the Hibernians did."

Meanwhile, members of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization are expected to again protest their exclusion under their own banner from this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.

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