marching on

Irish Prez Mary McAleese Won’t Be St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s 250th Grand Marshal ‘Cause of The Gays

Invited by Ancient Order of Hibernians, the organizers of New York City’s famously gay-exclusionary St. Patrick’s Day Parade, to be 2011’s grand marshal, Ireland’s outgoing President Mary McAleese responded: No thanks.

Why turn her back on what will be the 250th anniversary of the parade? Because the event refuses to let gays march openly, and McAleese ain’t having it. Or at least she ain’t having the controversy that will erupt from it.

(New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the god-fearing bigot, is “being considered a likely replacement.”)

So: Kiss her, she’s awesome.

[photo: President McAleese with her husband Martin]

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  • alan brickman

    Women make the biggest homophobes…it ties into their latent misandry against all men…..

  • alan brickman

    she doesn’t want to lose votes….she’s pro vote…not pro gay…


    What an awesome bitchslap to those nasty relics at the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The President of Ireland refuses to participate in their hate fueled parade on St.Patricks Day!!

    That woman has more balls than the vast majority of the US politicians……….

  • alan brickman

    don’t be so quick to hand out the “glaad” awards guys….

  • Mike

    “she doesn’t want to lose votes….she’s pro vote…not pro gay…”


    She’s coming to the end of her term, and is not seeking re-election.

    Mary McAleese has ALWAYS been pro-gay. She was supporting gay rights when homosexuality was still illegal.

  • Mike

    The Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform was an organisation set up to campaign for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Its first legal advisor was Mary McAleese.

  • Mike

    She also paid a visit to OUThouse – an LGBT community centre in Dublin as one of her 1st official visits when she was elected President. Hail Mary. The gays have always loved Mary. And she has always loved us.

  • edgyguy1426

    Alan do you post these things just to see your name in print, cuz honestly I don’t think you do the research before you post here. Hence all the thumbs down.

  • NAP79

    Well done Mike and EDGEGUY1426!!

    ALAN must be a pro-Palin moron – spouting off ridiculous bullshit w/o a second of research. The only offense of the ignorant.

  • Irish Eoin

    Here is a great speech Prez Mary made to young Irish LGBT, in 2008, while visiting BeLong To, the gay youth organisation:

    I think back to my own teenage life. I think I was only somewhere in the region of 19 or 20 before I realised there was this other phenomenon called homosexuality. I didn’t, nor did Martin or anyone belonging to us, I didn’t choose to be heterosexual – it was discovery. It was a life’s discovery of part of who I am. You didn’t choose to be what you are or make a decision. You discovered it. It was possibly a slow process of discovery. And one of the big differences between growing up in that world where you happily discover yourself to be heterosexual or discover yourself to be gay lesbian, bisexual or transgender – it is that growing up as a heterosexual the words that you hear, the things that you hear or the things that are said are supportive and encouraging. And the world around you is supportive and encouraging of what you are. It is not challenging of what you are. But if you are 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and in your ear you are hearing the funny comments, the wise cracks, the anti-gay jibes, the nasty toned comments, sometimes the ambiguous comments, that is what you are hearing and then your own process of life’s discovery reveals to you “gosh, I am one of these people they are mocking. I’m one of these people they are talking about. This is me.”

  • Kieran

    Being raised a Catholic in a Protestant dominated Northern Ireland, Mary McAleese no doubt recognizes ignorance, bigotry and prejudice when she sees it.

  • Mike

    The President of Ireland between 1990-1997 was Mary Robinson. Prior to her presidency, dhe was the lawyer who successfully represented Senator David Norris in his case to decriminalise homosexuality in the Republic of Ireland.

    President Robinson was succeeded by President McAleese (who is now nearing the end of her 2nd term) who was active in the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform in the 1970’s.

    The female presidents of Ireland have been among the LGBT community’s staunchest supporters. Both the Marys (Robinson and McAleese) are enormous gay icons in Ireland.

    I love them both.

    And I love the way President McAleese refuses to be associated with the New York St Patrick’s Day parade because of its homophobia.

  • SomethingElse

    The anti-Irish gays of NYC HATE stories like this. Anything that makes the Irish look good just kills them.

  • Mike

    “Anything that makes the Irish look good just kills them.”

    Perhaps. But are you talking about the Irish people or the Irish-American people?

    Irish people and Irish society, have only a vague link to Irish-American people or Irish-American society.

    Ireland is more advanced than the US in terms of gay rights and has been for some time. Irish people are quite embarrassed by the bigotry prevalent in a lot of Irish-Americans.

    Gay employees in Ireland are protected against discrimation (ENDA). Gay people in Ireland are allowed to serve in the army (DADT). Gay people in Ireland can get civil unions (and marriage is on the horizon).

    Homophobia is not widespread in Ireland. Despite its reputation for conservatism, Ireland is a very good country in which to be gay.

  • SomethingElse

    Mike : Both Irish and Irish-Americans are traditionally objects of hatred by the NYC gay community, but a lot of it isn’t theologically-based or politically-based, it’s just a snobbery thing. The gay in NYC, primarily an out-of-town Protestant, is expected to look down on anything Irish-Catholic-related, as an extension of when it was “classy” for Protestant American bluebloods to do that. The same is true in Boston from what I’ve heard (though I can’t verify that firsthand) yet (of course) that doesn’t stop the gay pretend-bluebloods from hunting for straight-boy bluecollar Irish c–k when they go slumming in Southie.

  • SomethingElse

    P.S. to Mike : What are they talking about when they consider “bigotry prevalent in a lot of Irish-Americans”? I know loads of Irish-Americans and generally see them as no more/no less bigotted than any other Caucasian ethnicity in America (especially with the younger ones).

  • Mike

    “Both Irish and Irish-Americans are traditionally objects of hatred by the NYC gay community”

    Are they?

    That’s hardly relevant if you’re actually Irish. Who cares what people in NYC think of Irish people? It doesn’t remotely affect our lives. We live in gay-friendly Ireland. Not in NYC.

    Irish people don’t have much to do with Irish-American people – family links aside. There’s the ethnic bond of course. But really and truly, Irish-American people are primarily American. Irish people are primarily European. There’s a big differene.

    Mary McAleese is Irish. She wouldn’t dream of associating with the NYC St Patrick’s Day Parade. Their homophobia is embarrassing to Irish people.

  • SomethingElse

    But Mike, you’re talking about how YOU feel: your point being that Irish and Irish-Americans are two different breeds of people. And I’m sure you’re not alone. My point is only that NYC gays, thinking of Irish, Irish-Americans, Irish-Canadians, Irish-Australians, etc., as all the same bad kind, are furious at anything Irish-positive. I’m speaking to and about those of us here in NYC, not about you and your countrymen.

  • Mike

    I hope my previous comment didn’t come across as bitchy. It wasn’t meant to.

    It’s just that Irish people are not really the same as Irish-Americans. We come from the same roots of course, but Ireland has progressed massively in terms of LGBT rights. Yet all the reports from the USA suggest that many of our American descendants are conservative and homophobic (and possibly even Republican). That doesn’t excuse discrimination against Irish-Americans of course.

    But aren’t you all meant to be Americans – the Land of the Free, and all that jazz?

    Is that not true? I’m not being facetious by the way. I just find it confusing that I, as an Irish person, is expected to have any association with the homophobic St Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC – that parade is a boring, homophobic disgrace.

    St Patrick’s Day is a huge party in Ireland. Not a political football.

  • SomethingElse

    Aren’t we all meant to be Americans? Not with the gays, believe me. They want a caste system. Even when 9-11 happened they laughed and made jokes re. why Father Judge probably really liked hanging out with firemen (and it didn’t help that so many firemen who died were of Irish descent). But, again, I’m talking about gays who move to NYC (they’re the worst) not the regular NYC-born citizen, many who happen to be homosexual, and many of Irish-descent. You just won’t find them associating with the vicious Manhattan gay Protestants. (For the record, I approve of McAleese’s decision, because it is my own opinion that the stuffy NYC Catholic tyranny guys need a good smack, but that’s CERTAINLY not because I’m anti-Irish nor anti-Irish-American nor a snob nor hate Matt Dillon and Chris O’Donnell nor ANY of that stuff).

  • SomethingElse

    P.S. Where are you reading those “reports” from the U.S.A.? Irish-Americans are as vast and varied as any other white ethnicity in America. (Were the Kennedys Republicans?) Sounds like you might be (though I hope not) reading nothing but anti-Irish gay publications?

  • Mike

    Well I’ve never lived in NYC so I have no idea what that may be like.

    What is indisputable however is that the President of Ireland – Mary McAleese – is a huge friend of the gays.

    We all love her here.

    Her presidency ends next year.

    I recommend you fake a US birth certificate for her, and vote her the next President of the United States. Generations of gays will thank you. She rocks.

  • SomethingElse

    LOL. Generations of future gays maybe. NO gay in NYC will vote for anyone with an Irish name for President. Anyway, I can’t recommend you visit NYC if you’re Irish and gay. Unless you’re just doing the tourist thing. If you try to explore gay stuff…gay waiters will actually spit in your drink. But if you were straight, believe me, NYC natives and straight Americans in general seem to adore the Irish. NYC is full of young Irish straight guys from Limerick, Cork, etc., who do VERY well with the ladies. /////////////////Wish you the best, and glad you have a fine Prez.

  • Mike

    “NYC is full of young Irish straight guys from Limerick”

    Oh shit.

    You leave my baby brother alone. He’s only on a holiday visa. His mother thinks he’s still a virgin.

  • SomethingElse

    Awww….I bet Baby Bro is tough enough to take care of himself!

  • Soupy

    I have never heard of these “vicious Manhattan gay protestant” gangs. Are they at war with the crips?

  • SomethingElse

    LOL, Soupy. (Actually, African-Americans aren’t one of their targets of hatred….Crips, Bloods, neither. No matter how homophbobic gangstas are. But, like I said, it’s not based on homophobia).

  • Jo

    @alan brickman:

    Just for your information, our president is not looking for votes. She is the outgoing president and not looking to run for office again as it’s coming to the end of her second term of office.

    Also Mary McAleese officially visited Ireland’s only dedicated lesbian resource centre LinC ( in 2003 and attended the first national conference hosted by BelongTo youth network in NUI Galway in 2008. She has always been a great friend to gay people in Ireland and has overseen a cultural change in this country that has allowed for an environment where an openly gay candidate Senator David Norris will be putting himself forward to contest the presidency in the next election.

    As for the Irish gay NYC debate, it saddens me to hear that there might be a lack of welcome for anyone in the NYC gay scene. As the driving force behind and a young female Irish harpist whose dating a NYC woman I’m contemplating moving to the city that never sleeps at some stage over the next few years. This conversation is making me feel worried that people might spit in my cup of tea when I get there.

    Are there forces at work in NYC to try to heal the rift between genuine Irish gay guys & girls and the NYC gays?

  • SomethingElse

    Hi Jo : Actually (my aunt is a lesbian, so I know the scene a bit) the NYC lesbian “community” (vast and varied) is much friendlier to anyone of Irish background. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any hostility at all toward the Irish from gay girls. I’m speaking solely about the gay males. You’ll probably be fine, especially with your circle of friends in the Irish music scene, so don’t let what I said have any factor in your decision to move here or not.

  • SomethingElse

    Also, Jo, as far as the “heal the rift” thing, there are no official forces working on it. There’s no need for it, because all the groups in NYC are fine with just not dealing with each other. Blacks as opposed to whites, Jews as opposed to gentiles, gay visitors versus gay natives, etc. It’s really all fine that way.

  • Jo

    Well that’s good to know SomethingElse :) thanks for the head’s up :) still in Ireland we know a little bit about people not dealing with prejudices – esp not dealing with the gays – so I’m sure if everyone does their bit and goes outside of their comfort zone to be friendly it’ll lead to a better world for everyone :)

  • SomethingElse

    Jo : That’s a nice philosophy. The only thing I’d warn you, and anyone, about with moving to NYC is not to underestimate how expensive it can get living here. Ugh.

  • Alexa

    Jo, I’m not sure what SomethingElse is smoking, but I’ve lived in the NYC area all my life and have never come across any anti-Irish sentiment from the gay community there. Certainly there’s some anger at not being allowed in the parade, but that doesn’t translate to being anti-Irish in general.

  • SomethingElse

    Alexa : Perhaps because you’re a female and not a gay or straight Irish male or Irish-American male native ?

  • SomethingElse

    P.S. to Alexa : Although I disagree with the Parade’s decision on gays, and approve of Pres. McAleese, I also recognize it’s a b.s. cause indicative, again, of gay anti-Irish hostility. What about the other ethnic parades in the city? Would a gay contingent even dare to risk their lives by challenging the homophobic West Indies (aka Jamaican) parade?

  • Mike

    It was the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organisation which initiated the protests against the homophobic St Patrick’s Day Parade. And they are still the main group involved in the protests.

    The ILGO was a group formed in New York in the early 1990’s for native Irish immigrants to the city. It was meant to be a social group, but it quickly became politicised when they were told they could not participate.

    So I fail to understand how you think the protests are displaying, gay anti-Irish sentiment.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that Irish people are openly hostile to Irish Americans?

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