Even in a liberal bastion like New York City, which after was liberal enough to vote a socialist into office as mayor, political moves come with a cost. You can’t please one group without displeasing another. Bill de Blasio is finding this out the hard way.
The New York Post’s Andrea Peyser writes:
De Blasio announced last month that he’s boycotting the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, set to run up Fifth Avenue March 17, in solidarity with homosexuals, who are prohibited from carrying banners, waving signs or wearing lapel pins that identify their sexual persuasions. Public Advocate Letitia James will be a no-show. Any City Council member who dares march won’t wave a city government sign, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito decreed. Guess what — no one cheered.
Neither did Hizzoner get much love last week when he marched through Sunnyside, Queens, in the gay-friendly St. Pat’s for All parade. The reason is that he has chosen (unfairly if you ask the group Irish Queers) to allow police and firefighters to “self-identify” (read: wear their uniforms) during the festivities, while refusing to extend the same courtesy to gays.
“We’re angry. Frustrated would be a better word,’’ said Emmaia Gelman, an organizer for Irish Queers, who added that the group is contemplating suing the city for violating human-rights laws.
The mayor also angered members of New York’s Irish-Catholic community who see his boycott as an expression of intolerance. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told Peyser:
De Blasio, he has no respect for diversity. I really find this very scary. I’ve been kicked by lesbians in the street!
So why not allow gays to go the whole nine yards and convert this annual celebration of Irish heritage and culture into a carbon copy of the freak show-esque Halloween Parade through Greenwich Village? Peyser explains:
If the parade opens up to groups whose members identify themselves by bedroom activities, then how can parade organizers justify stopping skinheads, abortion foes or members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association from waving banners?
The question, moreover, of who can and can’t wave banners was settled in 1995 when the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously that parade organizers in Boston, locus of the nation’s second-largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade after New York’s, have a First Amendment right to invite or exclude any group.
The website Creeping Sharia asks a tantalizing question: Namely, will de Blasio boycott Muslim Day Parade for gays?
Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.