January 20, 2015 at 10:30 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. Center to march in St. Patrick’s Day Parade
St. Patrick's Day Parade, gay news, Washington Blade

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in D.C. (Photo by S. Pakhrin; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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