Saturday, March 15, 2014

Is Bill de Blasio doing enough about St. Patrick's Day Parade's LGBT discrimination controversy ?

PUBLISHED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 10:10 PM
UPDATED : SAT, 08 MAR 2014, 03:09 PM

The large commercial beer brewer Heineken has withdrawn its support of the discriminatory St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City even after Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he will allow city workers to march in uniform in the parade, which bans open gay participation.

"Bill de Blasio is the first New York mayor for 21 years to boycott the St. Patrick's Day parade over its ban on gay participants – but is he doing enough ?" asked Ed Pilkington in The Guardian.

LGBT New Yorkers, activists, allies, and several community groups have beseeched Mayor Bill de Blasio to ban city employees from wearing their city uniforms if they plan to participate in the discriminatory St. Patrick's Day Parade that runs on Fifth Avenue. Opponents of the discriminatory parade charge that by allowing city employees to wear their uniform to the parade, the municipal government is tacitly endorsing the parade organizers' discrimination against open LGBT participants.

The mayor has announced that he is not marching in the parade on March 17, but his police commissioner, William Bratton, will be marching, along with other city employees, who are being allowed by the mayor to participate in their city uniforms.

The mayor's Council speaker has announced that she will not allow a formal City Council contingent to participate, but she is allowing City Council employees to participate unofficially, if they so choose.

All of this allows the St. Patrick's Day Parade to continue its discrimination against open LGBT participation, notwithstanding the minuscule steps taken by the mayor and his Council speaker, and this leaves many LGBT activists upset that the mayor may actually be violating the city's human rights law that bans discrimination, as alluded to in a recent editorial in Gay City News. If city resources are used to support or endorse the discriminatory policies of the parade, LGBT activists may have a case to request a court-ordered injunction that would could bar city employees from wearing their city uniforms in the parade or the use of other city resources for the parade. It remains to be seen what course of action LGBT activists take between now and March 17, the date of the parade.

No comments:

Post a Comment