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    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Speaker Quinn Queering on the Parade?


    Should Speaker Christine Quinn march in the Fifth Avenue St. Patricks Day parade? Here are two opinions:

    From Gay City News:

    City Council Speaker Christine Quinn must stand up unambiguously against the bigoted policy of the Ancient Order of Hibernians who stage the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in their refusal to let groups of gay and lesbian marchers, identified as such, participate in this time-honored civic ritual. ...

    Some insiders are suggesting that the Queens County Democratic organization, so critical to her election as speaker in January, has put pressure on her to join the fun on March 17 for the sake of unity. Others whisper that Andrew Cuomo, her pick for state attorney general, wants to troll for votes that day, but doesn’t want to have to do it without her by his side.

    Meanwhile, the Hibernians have launched a disinformation campaign saying that Council speakers traditionally lead the parade. Well… since the gay controversy began, one speaker has—Vallone. The other, Gifford Miller, hasn’t. And when Miller refused to march, as have so many other good progressives, he was undoubtedly thinking in part about the Irish-American politician he most admired—Christine Quinn.

    So for the sake of the LGBT community, for the sake of our ability to prove we can stay true to a principled stand, and for the sake of your own political integrity, Madame Speaker, please do not march down Fifth Avenue on St. Patrick’s Day unless you have the rest of us—signs, buttons, and beads included—in tow.


    And now from Daily Gotham:

    Every year around this time, there is controversy about the Saint Patrick's Day parade; the organizers, being good Catholics, always exclude LGBT groups from marching in the parade, presumably based on the logic that this subject is best confined to wherever it is that the clergy and the cardinals congregate.

    This year, adding piquancy, the Speaker of the City Council is a lesbian Irish lass, Christine Quinn. By tradition, and as a member of city government, she is invited to the parade, even if us lesser homos are not. Gay City News urges her to boycott the event, with the sound reasoning that she should not take part in something that is closed to some of her constituents because of bigotry on the part of other constituents.

    Here's a thought: she should march, on one condition – that she take along her partner, all of her gay staffers, every single gay person in City Hall, and that they all wear a big-ass rainbow Pride shirt. What are the organizers going to do – tell the Speaker of the New York City Legislature to change clothes?


    I'm with Daily Gotham on this one: march, march, march and march with PRIDE.

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