I’m Irish albeit a Protestant but on this wonderful day, I’d love to be in Dublin where the concerns seem to be limited to the chilly weather and too many beers (no, I have not had one YET). The folks in Savannah, GA are also having fun, but then we turn to New York City:
Protesters joined bagpipers, marching bands and thousands of flag-waving spectators at the St. Patrick’s Day parade Friday after the parade’s chairman compared gay Irish-American activists to neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and prostitutes. As huge, happy crowds lined the streets, the chairman, John Dunleavy, sidestepped questions about his remarks to The Irish Times. “Today is St. Patrick’s Day. We celebrate our faith and heritage, everything else is secondary,” he said before the start of the Fifth Avenue parade. Dunleavy set off a firestorm this week when he told the newspaper: “If an Israeli group wants to march in New York, do you allow Neo-Nazis into their parade? If African Americans are marching in Harlem, do they have to let the Ku Klux Klan into their parade?” Referring to the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization, Dunleavy said, “People have rights. If we let the ILGO in, is it the Irish Prostitute Association next?” On Thursday, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is gay, blasted Dunleavy for the comments. Quinn, who is Irish, declined to participate in the parade after organizers barred an Irish gay and lesbian group from marching under its own banner for a 16th straight year.
Can we put this gay bashing aside for just one day?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And have a beer on me.