Gay rights groups urge Govt to boycott New York parade

Thursday 06 February 2014 17.42
The New York Mayor has already said he would boycott the city's parade
The New York Mayor has already said he would boycott the city's parade

Irish gay rights organisations have called on the Government to boycott the St Patrick's Day parade in New York.

Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Brian Sheehan, Director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN), called on the Government not to take part in the event.

The call comes after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week said he would boycott the city's parade due to the effective exclusion of the LGBT community from the event.

Mr de Blasio had said: "I simply disagree with the organisers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city."

Mr Sheehan today said Mr de Blasio had shown great moral leadership.

He added: "We believe the Irish Government should match Mayor de Blasio's moral leadership by not partaking in the parade."

A number of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights organisations have called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to boycott the event.

Speaking on the same station, Scott de Buitléir, editor of online LGBT magazine Eile, said he hoped Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, in particular, would not participate in the parade, given his reputation among the gay community as an outspoken promoter of gay rights.