By "we", I mean my hometown, the City of New York. We're supposed to lead, but on some matters we've actually been following in the tracks of--or not even on the same road as--some other cities, namely Boston.
The other day, LGBT Irish groups marched for the very first time in Beantown's St. Patrick's Parade. Joining them was Martin J. Walsh, the city's first mayor in two decades to walk the South Boston parade route in two decades.
Last year, Walsh tried, unsucessfully, to persuade South Boston Allied War Veterans, the group that organizes the parade, to allow an LGBT group to march. Finally, two weeks ago, they relented and invited OUTVETS, a group of LGBT veterans of the Armed Forces.
Now an LGBT group will march down Fifth Avenue along with various organizations representing Catholics, police officers, firefighters and others. Last fall, parade organizers announced the invitation of OUT@NBCUniversal, an employee resource group affiliated with NBC's parent company (which broadcasts the parade) to participate in the oldest and largest St. Patrick's celebration in the US.
But, unlike Walsh, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio will not participate in his home burg's parade. He is still not satisfied with the level of LGBT inclusion in the parade. However, beer-maker Guinness, which withdrew its longtime sponsorship of the parade last year, has decided to recommit itself.
De Blasio, for his part, participated in the St. Pat's for All parade--which lives up to its title by not excluding anybody--earlier this month where, not surprisingly, he was warmly received.