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Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade Disses LGBTQ+ Groups

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday March 6, 2023

Carol Bullock, executive director of the Pride Center
Carol Bullock, executive director of the Pride Center  (Source:CBS News)

Another year marks another Staten Island St. Patricks Day Parade and other time the parade has excluded LGBTQ+ groups.

As reported by CBS News, "the parade has been seeped in controversy over the years for not allowing LGBTQ+ groups to take part."

Carol Bullock, executive director of the Pride Center, said: "Once again, we were denied an opportunity to march in the parade. Let me be very clear: this is discriminatory and vile."

Due to the exclusion, members of the Pride Center of Staten Island held their own march, joined by New York City political leaders, including Mayor Eric Adams.

"This discrimination sends a profoundly toxic message to every LGBTQIA, especially our youth," said Bullock, CBS News reports.

A spectator who knew about the situation added, "Prejudice hurts and kills, divides families, tears community apart."

When CBS attempted to ask president of the parade committee Larry Cummings about why LGBTQ+ groups could not participate, he had a terse response: "Please get them out of my face."

Spectator Denise O'Hare had a simple take on the situation.

"When you are Irish, you are Irish," she said. "It is kind of a kick, but people are what they are. In this day and age, it's still hard to believe there is so much bigotry. It is in everything, color, sexuality."

Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis is hoping for the parade to change next year.

"I have said clearly that everyone should be included in this march," she said. "But I am not going to not participate and support my Irish constituents who love their culture and heritage."

Addressing the Catholic League President Bill Donohue who said in a statement, "The parade celebrates St. Patrick, not sexual orientation."

Bullock responded "We're a not-for-profit that does amazing work. We provide mental health counseling, we provide programming for seniors and youth."

She added, "We don't have a sexual orientation agenda."