Metro Weekly

LGBTQ groups blocked from Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade Organizers continue to disallow any participation from LGBTQ contingents in their parade.

A participant in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

The parade organizers of the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade — scheduled for today March 6, 2022 — firmly maintained their ban on LGBTQ participants, according to a report in the New York Times.

When executive director of the Staten Island Pride Center Carol Bullock attempted to hand in the center’s application during the parade’s registration, president of the parade committee Larry Cummings immediately threw her application in the “rejection pile,” seemingly without a second thought.

This outright refusal to allow LGBTQ individuals or groups from marching in the parade has long been held by the Staten Island St. Patrick Day’s Parade and used to be matched by similar bans from other parades in New York City.

However, in 2014, the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest one of its kind in the world, reversed its own nearly two-decade-long ban on LGBTQ participants.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades held in other parts of the city would follow Manhattan’s example, allowing LGTBQ people to march in their parades. In spite of this, the bullheaded Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers have only grown more staunch in their denial of potential LGBTQ participants.

In their application for the 2022 parade, the Staten Island organizers boldly declared that their parade “will not allow political or sexual identification Agendas to be promoted.”

Moreover, they stated that their parade will only allow participants that don’t stand “in opposition, or contradict, the Teachings and Tenets of the Catholic Church.”

Several New York City government officials — including recently elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon, and State Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) — have come out to openly oppose the Staten Island parade and even boycott the event.

“We are hopeful that the organizers of the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade will see the need for inclusion and allow members of the LGBTQ community to participate,” Fabien Levy, Press Secretary for Mayor Adams stated in a Feb. 24 tweet. “Until that time, [Mayor Adams] will not participate in the parade.”

The Staten Island parade organizers, however, have not backed down and have intimated that they will aggressively block anyone they view as even lightly promoting the LGBTQ community.

When the parade was last held in March 2020, organizers swiftly denied Miss Staten Island Madison L’Insalata from joining the 2020 parade after she came out as bisexual. And security for the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade “physically blocked” Republican City Councilman Joseph Borelli because he was wearing a small rainbow-colored pin.

“I spoke to a sergeant and was not going to make the life of our cops more complicated to prove a point,” Borelli told the Staten Island Advance at the time. “I didn’t come with it looking for an argument. My friends handed a pin to me. I really didn’t think it was a big affront to the Irish.”

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