New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, an openly gay Irish-American, will once again be celebrating St. Patrick's Day away from home. The New York Times reports:
After all, when Ms. Quinn, an openly gay Irish American, became speaker in 2006, the organizers of the city's signature St. Patrick's Day Parade, down Fifth Avenue, made it clear that while she could march as an individual and as a city official, she could not display anything hinting at gay pride -- not a pin, not a button, not a sash. So she boycotted the event.
"I just don't understand why being stuck is more attractive than even trying," Quinn told the paper. "It just seems hard to accept, with all of the progress in our city, and all of the progress in the world, that we should be at loggerheads over the inclusiveness of the Fifth Avenue parade. It kind of boggles the mind."
In 2007, Quinn attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, which she says "has always been inclusive."
This year Quinn is going to Washington, where she will attend reception for Irish-Americans at the White House featuring Prime Minister Brian Cowen of Ireland.
The group behind the parade, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, has a long historyof excluding gay people. In 1991 they tried to keep a gay organization out the parade and expelled the division that invited them.
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