Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Another identity altogether

March 18th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Homophobia, Irish Politics, LGBT, Uncategorized

Voices from outside the Irish America LGBT community have joined in criticism of the exclusion of lgbts from the New York St. Patricks Day parade which took place yesterday.  (Post from Joe My God  with great pictures from the Irish Queers protest.)

There is a new avenue of criticism this year targetting the local NBC affiliate who broadcast the event and pay the organisers a fee for the ‘privilege’.

Things have moved on.  LGBT activists now successfully target broadcasters in order to respect diversity and campaign for equality.   NBC has merged with Comcast and the merger has not been without controversy. Now the links between the broadcaster and a discriminatory event have come to the fore.

GLAAD say that they will be talking to WNBC about future coverage .

“The idea that a group of LGBT people aren’t allowed to participate in a parade in the middle of New York City in the year 2012 is completely out of touch with a majority of Americans and it is frankly indefensible”.

Writer and broadcaster Michaelangelo Signorile notes

The truth is, most LGBT activists weren’t focused on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade all these years, with bigger fish to fry. But many are now looking at this as unfinished business — as I said, an embarrassment in a state where we now have marriage rights — and they are also seeing Comcast as a company that is vulnerable. If Comcast doesn’t want a battle on its hands, a battle it will ultimately lose, after much PR erosion, it will make sure that March 18, 2012 is the beginning of the end of the ban on gays in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Meanwhile yesterday in Áras an Uachtaráin (official residence of the Irish President).

Photo via twitter from @smurphette85

Staff and young people from BelonGTo were pictured with President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina.  Also in attendance at the St. Patrick’s Day reception which was themed on Inclusion were representatives from GLEN, Marriage Equality and GCN.  Other civil society groups representing lone parents, domestic violence support, migrant rights and disability organisations were also in attendance.

I watched most of the New York Parade coverage. Apart from the many Tourism Ireland slots (one wonders if they pay NBC for inclusion in this broadcast or the organisers? A certificate of Irish heritage was presented to the Grand Marshall by Tourism Ireland rep live during the broadcast.) there was very little reference to Ireland today in terms of politics, identity or diversity. Most of the participants appeared to have lived in the US for decades or were not born in Ireland.

Things have changed very little in Irish America in the past twenty years.  In Ireland itself?  Things have changed utterly.


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