Irish foreign minister Eamon Gilmore criticized the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for its ban on LGBT groups, saying, “Exclusion is not an Irish thing.”
Gilmore, who assumed his new post in the last week, made the remarks Wednesday during a historic meeting with Irish LGBT leaders at the Irish Consulate in Manhattan. In addition to the gay boycott, many allied political leaders avoid the St. Patrick’s Day in New York City because its sponsoring organization prohibits LGBT participants from marching under the own banners.
This dispute has wracked New York politics since I was a kid. Hopefully with intervention from the other side of the Atlantic it can be resolved. Elsewhere in northeastern ethnic politics, it’s also the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification. There’s a big statue of Garibaldi in Washington Square Park where I grew up. In that pre-Internet era, the only way for Young Matt to find out who it was a statue of was asking his parents who, of course, didn’t know and didn’t have access to Wikipedia either. So it took me until 11th grade European history to unravel the mystery.