Irish PM Enda Kenny urged to back gay and lesbian groups in Boston parade row


Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has been urged to ‘come out’ in support of American gay and lesbian rights groups when he visits Boston as part of his St Patrick’s Day tour on Sunday.
MassEquality, the Boston advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people has urged to make a public statement supporting their right to march in the Boston parade.
The Irish Times reports on their call for the PM’s support for their bid to march openly with gay pride banners and colors in the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
The group told the paper that comments by Kenny supporting their campaign to end the long-time exclusion of LGBT groups from marching in the South Boston parade with gay pride signs and banners would help their campaign.
The group added that a statement from Kenny would help local political leaders with their support for the LGBT community to march as openly gay participants in Sunday’s march, the second-largest Paddy’s Day parade in the US.
Kara Coredini, executive director of MassEquality , told the paper: “A strong statement of support from the Prime Minister would not only help the LGBT community but help our allies in politics who have supported us during the process.”
Recent efforts by new Boston mayor Marty Walsh to broker a deal between the parties have failed.
Walsh remains hopeful that an eleventh-hour compromise could be reached to allow members of the LGBT community to participate in the parade.
The mayor, due to meet Kenny on Sunday, said: “I am going to make one more pitch at it and we’ll see what happens.”
However MassEquality has said a compromise deal supposedly offered by organizers earlier this month was subsequently revoked.
Coredini added: “We already rejected the conditions and we will not be marching,”
Kenny has also been drawn into the controversy over the exclusion of openly LGBT groups in Fifth Avenue parade in New York City on Monday.
The Irish PM The Taoiseach said: “I am happy to march in Manhattan parade because it is about our Irishness, not sexuality.”