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St. Patrick’s Day In Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful holiday. It justifies getting drunk and something something about Saint Patrick. It has also been an celebration of Irish ethnic pride. But in the celebration of a Catholic saint there has also been exclusion of the LGBT community. That exclusion has now led to various politicians and sponsors dropping out of the event.

In New York City both Mayor De Blasio and Guinness have withdrawn from participating.

The parade is expected to proceed as planned along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Monday despite the withdrawals of major sponsors like Guinness, the Dublin brewer known for its stout, and of city leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, over the issue of inclusiveness.

Organizers of the annual parade have said gay groups could march in the procession but could not carry signs or identify their sexuality.

And in Boston (yes Boston) the mayor dropped out of a St. Patrick’s parade in South Boston for the same reason. He was joined by Sam Adams, the beer maker famous for using the name of the American Revolutionary from Boston.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has released a statement announcing he will not participate in the annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade…

The now-decades-old controversy has led beer-maker Sam Adams to pull its support from the parade — a move that was met with backlash from at least one Boston restaurant that announced it would no longer serve Sam Adams beer.

What exactly would happen that would be so awful to justify excluding people from the LGBT community? Many in the community are Irish or at least enjoy a drink now and again. Can people truly not enjoy the holiday if gays marched in the parade as well?

Surely a strict Catholic might suggest that the church does not approve of homosexuality, but this is a parade through the city, a civic exhibition. It’s not simply a religious festival inside a church. Nonetheless the parade should be permitted but don’t be upset that when you exclude members of the public that those who have to serve everyone (or aspire to) decline to be involved.

Photo by William Murphy under Creative Commons license.