Amid the ongoing legal fights over same-sex marriage and the growing acceptance of homosexuals and their rights, there remains an area where gay participation remains controversial: the annual rite of spring known as the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
In major cities, and in many smaller ones, the parade is a celebration and acceptance of Irish culture and social power. Yet in recent years, it has also been the arena for protest over whether gays should be allowed to participate as a clearly identified group. The parades have allowed individuals who are gays to take part.
The latest round in the battle involves two key centers of Irish identity: Boston and New York.