NEW YORK — Organizers of the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade said on Wednesday they plan to lift the decades-old ban on gay groups, according to the Irish Voice.
The parade committee, in a statement to the Associated Press, said that OUT@NBCUniversal, an LGBT group at NBC, which broadcasts the parade, would march on March 17 in the parade.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march in the 2014 parade, the first mayor to take that step in 20 years. He had threatened to boycott again in 2015.
A spokesperson for parade organizers told the New York Times that other LGBT-identified groups are free to apply to march in the future but added that the parade was “remaining loyal to church teachings.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan is scheduled to serve as grand marshal of the next parade.
“It’s about time,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD. “Discrimination has no place on America’s streets, least of all on Fifth Avenue. As an Irish-Catholic American, I look forward to a fully inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade that I can share with my wife and children, just as my own parents shared with me.”