Gay & Irish on St. Paddy’s Day in the US

13Mar

00:0000:00

Each year since 1990, the Irish-American Gay and Lesbian Organization of New York City has requested to march in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade. Each year the parade organizers have refused the request. In 1993, NYC Human Rights Commission mandated that the IGLO had to be included in the parade, a mandate that was overturned as "unconstitutional" by a Federal judge. The court case was predicated on free speech, asserting that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which had organized the parade for 150 years, had the right to decide what was said in their parade, and what was not said. That legal precedent has had far deeper consequences. Underlying this battle over a quintessential celebration of Irish-Americanness, there was a question of what Irish-(American)ness is, and who gets to define that identity. Join Averill and Marissa for some of the history of the New York City and Boston St. Patrick's Day Parades, the fight for inclusion and exclusion, and the shaping of Irish-American identities.