Disclosure: I have not been to a Saint Patrick’s Day parade in many years. I’m not boycotting them… it’s just generally too cold to go stand outside to drink beer when I can watch it on television. Not so the Mayor of New York, though. He gave it a pass yet again this year and for the same old reasons. Even though the organizers made changes to satisfy the people who want the parade to be “more inclusive” (read “gay groups” here) this year, it still wasn’t inclusive enough for Hizzoner.
For the second consecutive year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are boycotting the nation’s largest and, at 250 years, oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The reason: After a backlash last year against a ban on gay groups led to de Blasio being the first mayor in 20 years to stay away from the popular event, parade organizers said they would allow only one gay group to march with a banner in this year’s parade.
That unit will be OUT@NBCUniversal, a corporate group for gay employees of NBCUniversal, a parade sponsor whose local affiliate will broadcast the event Tuesday.
Stephen Kruiser reminds us that even though it has become something of a tradition involving parties in the streets, the event has a religious basis.
While the glories of capitalism may have turned St. Patrick’s Day into an opportunity to make some good money, it is still a religious feast day. I am not at all asserting that a parade is some sort of sacred religious event, but if the local cardinal is your grand marshal, there are still some ties to the Church. The Roman Catholic Church isn’t obligated to overhaul doctrine to accommodate the angry activist group du jour or a commie like Bill de Blasio.
Is it just me or is anyone else ready to go lay down in front of a parade float if they have to read one more of these stories? Seriously, guys… we might just start the conversation by saying that the parade is probably a generally more enjoyable experience without de Blasio in it anyway, but I suppose that wouldn’t be very charitable. It’s a parade! Lots of people put a ton of work into organizing it every year so that you can all go enjoy yourselves. Do we really have to do this every time?
To top it all off, even though there were objections on religious grounds, they invited their first gay group. More are to be invited next year. But for some reason that’s not good enough. At some point we’re just going to have to give up on the idea of having parades or any other sort of public displays of celebration. (Except protest marches. Those are always fine, of course.)
Pass the green beer. I think we many need more than a few.