Pride Center of Staten Island hosts it's second 'Rainbow Run' 5K prior to St. Patrick's Day parade

The committee for the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade faced criticism this weekend as they again denied the Pride Center of Staten Island permission to march under their banner.

Read More: Staten Island St. Patrick's Day parade again denies LGBT group

The parade was hosted on Sunday, March 3, but Carol Bullock, executive director of the Pride Center of Staten Island, revealed last month that for the second time, her group was denied permission to walk under their own banner in the parade.

Bullock said she was told the Pride Center of Staten Island banner “promoted the homosexual lifestyle" and "goes against the tenets of the Catholic Church."

The parade is organized by a local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), whose president Larry Cummings last year told the Irish Voice: “Our parade is for Irish heritage and culture. It is not a political or sexual identification parade.”

Read More: Timeline of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s LGBT controversy

Local politicians boycotted the parade, while leading Irish media figures criticized the organizers’ decision.

On Sunday, the day of the parade, NY1 News reporter Amanda Farinacci tweeted how local businesses on Staten Island had taken the time to put up posters showing their LGBT support ahead of the parade:

Amid all the St. Patrick’s Day parade preps seen along Forest Avenue today...perhaps these are most noticeable, hanging in about 20 stores along the route. Biz show solidarity with @pridecenterSI who are denied marching w their banner @NY1 #StatenIsland pic.twitter.com/xmPtuMNpNr

— Amanda Farinacci (@amandafarinacci) March 3, 2019

Read More: Celebrate Pride in Ireland today with the top LGBTQ Irish influences from history and today

On Twitter, Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo said he would not be marching in the parade and that he’s working toward a more inclusive parade in the future:

I won’t be marching in Sunday's St. Patrick's Day parade. I wanted to, and thought I could reconcile my call for inclusion with still marching, but internally I cannot. No disrespect is intended towards anyone, including colleagues who will march.

— Jimmy Oddo (@HeyNowJO) March 1, 2019

Staten Island Congressman Max Rose said:

I struggled with how to support our LGBTQ community while still honoring our Island's rich Irish heritage, but for me I cannot march while the @pridecenterSI is still excluded. Let’s all work towards making 2020 the parade Staten Island deserves. https://t.co/rNqGIcjnYB

— Max Rose (@MaxRose4NY) March 1, 2019

Debi Rose, Councilmember for District 49 on Staten Island and Deputy Majority Leader for the NYC Council, also chose not to walk:

I applaud my colleagues taking stand against discrimination by not marching in Sunday’s St Patrick’s Day parade. I decided long ago not to march because I can’t support discrimination against anyone, knowing firsthand the impact that it has.

— Debi Rose (@CMDebiRose) March 1, 2019

Last month, after the Pride Center revealed it was denied permission to walk under its banner, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said the group “should be able to march:”

New York is the State of love.

I stand with the Pride Center of Staten Island. @pridecenterSI should be permitted to march in the Staten Island St Patrick’s Parade. (It’s way past time) https://t.co/3QHDbnYon7

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 22, 2019

Read More: Pro-diversity parade St Pats for All celebrates 19th year as Staten Island LGBT ban remains

Samantha Barry, a native of Co Cork who is now at the helm of Glamour magazine at Conde Nast in New York City, shared her frustrations about the committee’s decision on Instagram:

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Hundreds of you messaged me in support of my thoughts on Instagram stories today on the gay ban in the Staten Island St Patricks Day Parade. So here is the text in full for those who only look at the feed... The ban of a local gay group marching in the Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade is ludicrously bigoted and DOES NOT represent modern Ireland .. Modern Ireland is a country... _ that voted in favor of GAY MARRIAGE in a national REFERENDUM, - Voted to REPEAL THE 8TH AMENDMENT to give women agency over their reproductive rights - the political leader of the county is gay and the son of an Indian immigrant. Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade organizers. You don’t represent any version of Irishness or Ireland that I know ☘️ #gayrights #stpatricksday #stpaddysday #statenisland

A post shared by Samantha Barry (@sambarry) on

“The ban of a local gay group marching in the Staten Island St Patrick’s Day parade is ludicrously bigoted and DOES NOT represent modern Ireland,” Barry wrote on her post.

“You don’t represent any version of Irishness or Ireland that I know,” she added.

Similarly, Donie O’Sullivan, a native of Co Kerry who now reports for CNN from the US, tweeted:

So tired of homophobes in the U.S. using their “Irish heritage” — as if it somehow justifies this bullshit. Ireland was the first country in the world to vote for same sex marriage through popular vote. https://t.co/GQuSt7gWXf via @nypmetro

— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) March 3, 2019

Read More: Irish Pride: Ireland soccer team wear LGBT rainbow flag-decorated jerseys in friendly match against US

Despite not being able to march under their banner, the Pride Center of Staten Island for the second time hosted a ‘Rainbow Run 5K’ prior to the parade. 

Today @RainbowRunSI showed their support for the @PrideCenterSI after they were banned from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Staten Island.

We ran in Rainbow formation in The Forest Ave Mile before the parade to celebrate our Irish and #SILGBTQ Pride!#StatenIrelandPride pic.twitter.com/O5Zb77qSWl

— RainbowRunSI (@RainbowRunSI) March 3, 2019

The group said they also handed out both Irish and rainbow pride flags before the parade.

Organizers of the Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade faced criticism after denying an LGBT group permission to march under their banner.SIWomenWhoMarch, Twitter