LGBTQ groups gathered before the parade to condemn the decision to exclude queer people from this year’s parade with Rainbow Run.
About 100 members of the LGBTQ community ran along Forest Avenue in rainbow attire, handing out honor and Irish flags.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Staten Island is the only one in the city where LGBTQ groups are not allowed to march.
C. S. Hankins is a high school teacher and helped organize the Rainbow Run.
They find it important that the amazing residents of Staten Island see that they are supported and have a place in society.
“I remember feeling out of place in my community, and I never want young people to feel that way,” Hankins said. queer-identity “t matter, and their strange identity is not welcome here. Therefore, it is very important for us to show visibility and show society that they are welcomed and supported here.”
Carol Bulak is the executive director of the Center of Honor on Staten Island and says the center’s application to attend the parade has been denied for several years.
“Every year we try to march at the St. Patrick’s Day parade under our flag, the center of pride on Staten Island, and every year we are denied a parade committee,” Bulak said. “And we’re being told that the reason is that we’re violating the Catholic religion, and apparently I guess you can’t be Irish, Catholic and in the LGBTQ community, which is crazy.”
Members of the LGBTQ community are urging the city to reconsider budget spending on the event as it discriminates against queer New Yorkers.
City Comptroller Brad Lander said his agency will study how much is spent on the event, and that permitting agencies should consider where public funds are spent before allocating resources.
“We shouldn’t spend city dollars providing police and public housing,” Lander said. “We have a strong human rights law that says you can’t discriminate, and there’s no doubt that this parade is discriminatory and needs to be stopped.”
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