Gay Ban Lifted On St. Patrick's Day Parade Marchers - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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Gay Ban Lifted On St. Patrick's Day Parade Marchers

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NEW YORK, NY- It's a first for the largest Saint Patrick's Day parade in the world, as a gay group will be allowed to march under its own banner in the New York City parade.

It will be the first time in the parade's 252-year history.

As Fox's Antwan Lewis reports, other gay groups may soon be able to march as well.

New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade turns 253 years old next year. And for the first time in its history, a gay group will be allowed to march under its own banner.

The group "Out At NBC Universal" will march up 5th Avenue on March 17th.

They are an LGBT support group made up of employees at NBC universal.

Emmaia Gelman is with the group Irish queers, who back in 1990 was one of the first gay groups to apply to march.

While pleased with the news, she questions the selection of a gay group directly associated with the company that broadcasts the parade.

"It's very sad that this historic and sad and embarrassing ban on Irish LGBT groups marching in the parade has broken without any Irish LGBT group being allowed to march. NBC's gay employees group is a lovely organization but is NOT an Irish group," said Gelman.

Parade organizers came under fire this year for their ban on gays.

Mayor DeBlasio refused to march and major parade sponsors like Guinness beer, dropped their sponsorship.

But whether a move to stop the bleeding or to simply catch up with the times, the lifting of the ban is being well received.

"What I have called for, for a long time is an inclusive parade. This is a city of inclusion the values of this administration meets the values of the people in the city. A truly inclusive parade," said Mayor DeBlasio.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of NY released a statement saying neither he nor his predecessors have ever selected who would or would not march in the parade, but have always appreciated organizers for keeping the parade close to its Irish heritage.

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