Organizers of D.C.’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade have approved an application by the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community to arrange for a first-ever LGBT contingent to march in this year’s parade.
“We just registered and they accepted our registration,” said David Mariner, the D.C. Center’s executive director.
Mariner said the Center has set up a Facebook page for the LGBT parade contingent. He said the Center is urging interested members of the LGBT community, especially those who are of Irish descent, to join the contingent.
This year’s parade is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 15, from 12-3 p.m. It will travel along Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 7th Street and 17th Street, according to the parade’s website.
Unlike their counterparts in other cities, including New York and Boston, the D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee has no policy calling for the exclusion of an openly LGBT contingent.
“We are a non-profit,” Colleen Cohan, vice chair of the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee of Washington, D.C. told the Blade last year. “So we don’t exclude any group that wants to participate in the parade.”
Cohan said the committee does have a policy of banning “political campaigning” or commercial advertising by members of parade contingents. But she said participants are free to carry signs or a banner displaying the name of their organization.