For the first time ever, gays will be allowed to participate in the traditional parade on St. Patrick's Day in New York as a separate group. The ban on the participation of gays had become a divisive political element in the American city .
Last year, the Democratic mayor De Blasio refused to join the parade, and sponsor Guiness withdrew for the same reason. The Organising Committee of the parade has now decided to allow the club of gay staff members of NBC Universal, the television station that broadcasts the parade.
On March 17, 2015, New Yorkers take to the streets to attend the 253rd parade on this feast-day of Ireland's patron saint. All New Yorkers can join, not just those with Irish ancestors.
The parade of dressed-up officials, politicians, bagpipers and politicians attracts hundreds of thousands to 5th Avenue.
Homosexuals were allowed to join in, but with other co-workers or other organizations. Their sexual orientation had to be kept hidden.
The New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan supports this modernization. "I know that thousands of homosexuals will be in the parade. And I'm happy with that.," Dolan said.