How Would Mayor Christine Quinn Handle New York’s Exclusionary St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

16quinn190Though everyone knew it was coming, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn officially threw her hat in the ring last weekend and announced her candidacy for mayor.

Quinn has her supporters and detractors, even among progressives, but there’s no denying she’s been a staunch advocate for the city’s LGBT community.

As the Big Apple gears up for another St. Patrick’s Day parade today, we wondered how, if elected, Her Honor would handle the event, which is notorious both for its exclusion of LGBT groups and the attendance of prominent local politicians.

Though Quinn is of Irish descent, she has always refused to march in the parade because of the policy: “I’ve marched in Dublin [in its St. Patrick’s Day parade] with visibly identifiable stickers and buttons that made clear we were both Irish and LGBT,” she said this week. “If you can do that in Dublin, in God’s name, why can’t you do it on Fifth Avenue?”

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s current mayor, will march in the parade today, though he continues to press organizers to welcome gay groups.

Should she be in Gracie Mansion in 2014, will Quinn try to force the parade to accept gay contingents? (The courts said they had a First Amendment right to discriminate.) Will she make a big public statement about the parade’s policy?

Or will she just quietly skip it and do something else.

Politics is tricky business: How can a gay mayor play activist without alienating the millions of New Yorkers who think of the St. Patrick’s Day parade as nothing more than a festive community celebration? And is it worth the political capital to take a stand against a parade when there are so many other battles to fight?

Play political strategist and give Quinn some sound advice in the comments section below!


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