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Michelangelo Signorile “Appalled” That NBC Sells TV Time To Anti-Gay St. Pat’s Organizers

It’s 2012, and in New York State gays and lesbians have full civil rights, including marriage equality. Gays are no longer banned in the U.S. military. But they are still banned from Fifth Avenue’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in an embarrassing throwback for everyone involved.

It’s frankly appalling that NBC, and now its parent company Comcast, still sells the broadcast rights (on its local affiliate, WNBC) to the intolerant bunch that runs the parade—in 2007, that amount was $300,000—and then helps the organizers sell advertising to major companies. More than that, one of NBC’s top executives—a man who aids the organizers in getting those ad dollars—was chosen as this year’s Grand Marshall…

Sure, it’s debatable whether selling the broadcast rights to a parade that admittedly excludes a minority group violates the FCC’s diversity rules. But it’s certainly something that LGBT activists would argue, bringing a lot of attention to the issue. Comcast may not want that fight now…

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 very vulnerable. If Comcast doesn’t want a battle on its hands—a battle it will ultimately lose, after much p.r. 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.

The Huffington Post‘s Michelangelo Signorile thinks that gays will be able to march in Manhattan’s St. Patrick Parade in 2013

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10 Comments

  • Cam

    Yes, but they WOULDN’T run an add that exposed the falsehoods of Focus on teh family.

  • Jonathonz

    I think the signs that say “Irish and Queer” pretty much say it all.

  • Shungaboy

    It would be great if gays could march in next year’s parade! Of course, we can already do that at the inclusive St. Pat’s For All parade in Sunnyside, Queens.

  • Kieran

    How come I don’t see Michelangelo Signorile demanding to march with other proud gay Italian-Americans in the Columbus Day parade? Did I miss the Gay Italian contingent at the Columbus parade all these years? And where is the Gay marching unit at the Thanksgiving Day parade…or the Puerto Rican parade…..or the Pulaski parade…..??

  • SteveC

    “How come I don’t see Michelangelo Signorile demanding to march with other proud gay Italian-Americans in the Columbus Day parade? Did I miss the Gay Italian contingent at the Columbus parade all these years? ”

    Does the Columbus Day parade specifically exclude gayfolk?

    I was not aware that it did.

  • SteveC

    The exclusion of LGBT people from the St Patrick’s Day parade is so strange.

    We have a parade of Americans, pretending they are Irish, yet excluding Irish people because they are gay.

    As a country Ireland is gay friendly and accepting.

    What year are these American Plastic Paddies living in?

  • J Stratford

    These “Irish” has nothing to do with the real Irish born and are citizens of Ireland!!

    Fake Irish.

  • Lock Up MSNBC

    Who gives a damn about Michelangelo? He is such an ass.

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