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St. Patrick's Day Parade lifts ban on gay groups

Photograph: Marielle Solan
St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014

LGBT rights for the win! Fly that rainbow flag high because today the organizers of the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade finally lifted the ban on gay groups' participating in their march. That's right, it took them over 250 years, but the annual Irish celebration (for the first time ever!) will allow LGBT groups to march under their own banner.

Before the ban was dropped, LGBT groups were allowed to march in parade as long as they didn't identify themselves, which is basically the "don't ask, don't tell" of parades. LAME. So lame, that for most of those 250 plus years, we've seen extreme pushback on the silly (and beyond stupid) ban. Last year was no different—Mayor Bill de Blasio boycotted the parade,  and opted to march in the gay-friendy Queens St. Pat’s for All Parade, instead. Plus, thousands of LGBT allies protested during the parade to show their disgust with its antiquated stance on gay rights.

Thanks to the new change, groups like OUT@NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group, are allowed to walk proudly beside allies in this year's parade, according the a statement by the committee announced by The Associated Press. There you go, St. Patty. That's what 2014 should look like. So congratulations to the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade for finally getting with the times and allowing LGBT people to march in celebration of Irish culture! It's about damn time.

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