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St Patrick's Parade welcomes gays, excludes 'pro-lifers'

St Patrick's Parade welcomes gays, excludes 'pro-lifers' March 18, 2016

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, centre, ended his two-year boycott of the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday after organisers opened the event up to all openly LGBT marchers.
But another Bill – Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights– boycotted the event for the second year running.
He is reported by The National Catholic Register as saying:

You have a gay group in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade allowed to march, but the pro-life people are banned? The whole thing is perverse.

Donohue told the Register that he does not regret his decision to pull the Catholic League from the parade last year, after he said the parade organizers lied to him about allowing a pro-life group to march. Instead, the parade committee this year welcomed a second homosexual group, the Lavender and Green Alliance, whose leader, Brendan Fay, has been a vocal critic of the Church’s moral teachings.

That just tells me that everything is disintegrating, as I expected.

A gay participant in yesterday's parade. Photo: Getty Images
A gay participant in yesterday’s parade. Photo: Getty Images.
De Blasio took part in the parade up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for the first time since his election after organisers agreed to allow a second lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group to march under its own banner.
For years organisers excluded LGBT groups from marching under banners identifying their sexual orientation, drawing fire from critics who said the policy amounted to discrimination.
Months after de Blasio was elected in 2014, he became the first mayor in more than 20 years to decline to march in the parade.
Others also declined invitations due to the gay rights dispute, which led two sponsors, Heineken and Guinness, to drop out. They returned last year after the parade invited Out@NBCUniversal, a small LGBT group and affiliate of the parade’s television sponsor.

The Mayor said:
I’ve known so many members of the LGBT community who are Irish who simply wanted to express their pride. And they wanted to know that they could do that like any other person.

De Blasio also added that, for the prior two decades, there had been:

A blemish on this city because we couldn’t be all that we were meant to be.

Boston’s parade had been involved in a similar dispute but last year opened its ranks to gay marchers.
John Lahey, the parade committee board chairman, boasted that the 255th St. Patrick’s Day Parade would be the “most inclusive” in its long history.
But Donohue said Lahey’s claim was a “lie.”

Inclusiveness only applies to the gay issue. I’m glad I’m out.

Ahead of the event, Elizabeth Rex, President and co-founder of the Children First Foundation, said faithful Catholics should consider boycotting the parade.

They’re claiming a complete victory for tolerance, but no, they are intolerant to Catholics who believe that life is sacred at the moment of conception. We really need to rise up and mobilise, just refuse to attend, refuse to participate and refuse to march. Let’s celebrate our Catholic faith by praying for our country: that we return to the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

Cardinal Dolan and Mayor Bill de Blasio at yesterday's parade. Photo: Getty Images.
Cardinal Dolan and Mayor Bill de Blasio at yesterday’s parade. Photo: Getty Images.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, wrote on his blog this week that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was established in honour of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York. Given the strong secular currents in today’s society, the cardinal wrote it was important not to forget why the parade exists.

It is not just the Irish parade. We march to honour St. Patrick. That is why so many cringe at and resist pleas to weaken the Catholic origins of the parade.

The cardinal added:

While everyone is invited to march in the parade and all are welcome, no one is permitted to use it for causes that are extrinsic to its origins.

Dolan, who was criticised by some Catholics for serving as the parade’s grand marshal last year, thanked “those who love and lead the parade for assuring us” that the original intent of the parade – to celebrate the faith, heritage, culture and tradition of Ireland — is preserved.
He added:

It would be particularly somber if the forces of secularism were able to what centuries of oppressive rule were unable to do: erase the faith from Irish identity.


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