Politician’s rise highlights NYC parade dispute

Politician’s rise highlights NYC parade dispute

NEW YORK (AP) — She’s a leading candidate to be New York’s next mayor. She’s already one of its top Irish-American officials.

Christine Quinn is also a lesbian and proud of it. And that’s why the City Council speaker won’t be marching in Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Quinn’s rising political prominence is bringing a decades-long dispute between parade organizers and gay activists back into sharp relief.

Quinn says she’s both saddened and mystified that the parade continues to bar marchers from displaying any gay-pride messages.

Organizers say gay people are welcome, but signs or buttons celebrating being gay would detract from the parade’s focus on honoring Irish heritage.

The policy has spurred protests and litigation going back to the 1990s. It also prompted the launch of a gay-friendly St. Patrick’s parade.

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