Target: Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Goal: Praise the decision to include gay groups in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York sparked a national debate with its ban on gay groups. The two decades of debate have ended, though, with gay groups getting the green light to proudly march under their own banners. The inclusion of gays signifies a shift in public attitudes toward gays in New York, throughout the United States, and the Roman Catholic Church.
With many Irish people participating in the St. Patrick’s Day parade being Roman Catholic, many opposed gay groups. Since the start of the parade begins with mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the most well known church in the United States, the gay groups were at a disadvantage. Although the Church holds its opposition to same-sex marriage, it has chosen to accept the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, and Queer (LGBTQ) community.
Organizers attempted to keep politics out of the parade’s dealings by explaining the event as solely a cultural one; however, in an effort to do so, the parade became even more of a source of contention. Companies that sponsor the parade pulled their support after public attitudes changed, and some politicians stated that they would not march in the parade if gays were not allowed to take part. Perhaps the largest incentive to permit gay groups in the parade was the broadcasters of the festivities, NBCUniversal. Initially, only their employee resource group, OUT@NBCUniversal, could march under a gay banner, but luckily the decision was overturned.
Please applaud the inclusion of gay groups in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a step toward equal rights.
Dear Cardinal Dolan,
Thank you for your choice to include the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community in New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. With many people in the United States becoming more understanding of the LGBTQ community, many states legalizing same-sex marriage, and leaders of Church, including Pope Francis, tolerating the LGBTQ community, the decision was long overdue. Disregarding the political, economic, and overall public pressures, I am grateful for your decision.
Please continue to expand on the acceptance of the LGBTQ community within the Roman Catholic Church, and please ensure the safety of the gay group marchers in the parade as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: AFP via Getty Images