Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Day Parade Bars GLSEN From Marching

st patrick's dayAnother St. Patrick’s Day, another LGBT group banned from a parade: This time it’s in Cincinnati, where organizers of the city’s holiday procession have told the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to keep their shillelaghs at home on Saturday, because they don’t want a gay group marching in an ostensibly Catholic celebration.
Drunkards and hooligans, yes. Gays no.

GLSEN, which works to support LGBT students, was reportedly told by organizer Chris Schulte, “It’s an Irish Catholic parade, and we don’t want any members of the gay and lesbian community to be affiliated.”

Oddly, GLSEN was allowed to participate in the parade last year, but this time their money was sent back and their invitation withdrawn. Maybe someone finally figured out what the group’s acronym stood for?

“We are horrified by the message this sends to LGBT youth, who suffer constant bullying and discrimination, that they are not welcome in Cincinnati,” said GLSEN’s Cincinnati chair, Josh Wagoner.

Several members of the Cincinnati City Council have been tripping over themselves to pull out of the parade. “The city helps fund this parade, and the city has made it very clear that we will not tolerate any kind of discrimination against gay people,” Chris Seelbach, the council’s first openly gay member, told

GLSEN has started an online petition to convince the parade organizers to change their mind, but we can’t help feeling Cincinnati LGBTs should find something better to do this weekend.

Do you think it’s worth it for the LGBT community to fight to be included in local St. Patrick’s Day parades? Or should we leave the bigots be and have brunch instead?

Share you thoughts in the comment section!

Photo: Jack W. Pearce

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