Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who recently came out as a gay man, stated he would consider taking part in the Queens parade organized by a gay Irish group around St. Patrick’s Day.
He was responding to an invite by Brendan Fay of the Lavender and Green Alliance, which organizes the event called the “St. Pat’s For All” set to kick off the St Pat’s season on March 1.
The Queens parade has grown as an alternate to the 5th Avenue parade for many politicians. However, this year a LGBT group from NBC will march in the New York parade ending the ban on gay participation.
"Equality is very much at the center of being Irish," Fay told the Sunday Independent. "While we'd be delighted and welcome the day if Leo Varadkar would march with an Irish LGBT banner down Fifth Avenue, we would very much welcome him to come out and march with us on March 1. His coming out was a big story here and it reflects a changed Ireland."
Varadkar told the Sunday independent: "I received the invitation and I'm very grateful for it. I have a very busy day of meetings planned already on the Monday, so it'd probably be very difficult to attend." However, he pointed out that previous Irish ministers had marched.
"Ultimately it would be a decision for the Department of Foreign Affairs," he said.
Fay says he is still holding out hope that the group can march with their banner on March 17 in the 5th Avenue parade. "All we want to do is march with a banner to say we're an Irish-American LGBT group. That's it," he said.