St. Patrick Parade - Dolan Caves Under Pressure, Gay Groups Complain, Archbold: Sinful Capitulation, Gibson: Francis Effect

September 3, 2014

Dolan Caves Under Pressure, Gay Groups Complain, Archbold: Sinful Capitulation, Gibson: Francis Effect

By Frank Walker


Apparently the gay capitulation on the part of Cardinal Dolan, the archdiocese, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers may have been in response to pressure from media and sponsors. The LGBT group added to the parade is “Out@NBCUniversal.”

For now, it is unclear how the group was chosen: whether it was invited by the organizers or applied. Parade directors voted unanimously to include the group, the statement said. NBC is the company that broadcasts the parade. Other “gay” groups can apply to march in future years, spokesman Bill O'Reilly said.

The committee's statement welcoming the homosexual group said,  "Organizers have diligently worked to keep politics -- of any kind -- out of the parade in order to preserve it as a single and unified cultural event."  The change came with the insistence of  New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee members, including Dr. John Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and Francis X. Comerford, chief revenue officer for NBC-owned TV stations. NBC reportedly threatened to drop coverage of the parade if the change was not enacted.



Gay rights groups are of course complaining that they should have unlimited license to besmirch the annual New York parade on the Feast of St. Patrick. AP reports:

A decision by organizers of the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade to allow one gay organization to march is a disappointment after decades of fighting by gay groups for full participation, several advocates said Wednesday.

Some were dismayed that the organizers had chosen just one lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group to participate next year after ending a ban on them. Others expressed continuing mistrust.

Nathan Schaefer, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, called the announcement "disappointing and self-serving."

"While this development is long overdue, inviting one group to march at the exclusion of all others ... is a far stretch from the full inclusion we deserve," Schaefer said.



Pat Archbold has straightforward words for Cardinal Dolan in light of the decision to formally permit a gay group to participate in the St. Patrick parade. The Cardinal tried to evaded criticism today by denying that the Church has ever had any say in the matter. Archbold responds:

Cardinal Dolan's statement (see link above) is disingenuous.  The issue at hand has never been who can march in the parade.  I am quite certain that gay people have always marched in the parade.  What is at issue is people marching under a banner identifying themselves and promoting sin as normative.  The acceptance of the parade committee and the Cardinal is nothing less than the public acceptance of the normative nature of gay identity.  That Cardinal Dolan's statement clearly attempts to dissemble on this critical point is shameful, if unsurprising.



David Gibson at RNS News comments on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade tragedy:

The decision is another sign of how quickly changing public attitudes toward gay people have pushed changes in state laws, government policies and the practices of private entities.

Dolan’s positive response may also point to a shifting dynamic within the Catholic Church on gays and lesbians since the election of Pope Francis last year. Francis has made it clear he wants church leaders to highlight Catholicism’s outreach to the poor and vulnerable rather than always fighting culture war issues on gay marriage and the like.



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