YOU GO, GIRL. Irish President, Mary McAleese, turned down an invitation to Grand Marshal New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to their policy against gays. The parade has for 20 years, refused the right for gays to march in the parade under their own banners. Due to McAleese’s strong relationship with the LGBT in Ireland, she declined the invite.
Despite being a conservative Catholic, McAleese has become a firm advocate for marginalized groups including the LGBT community during her presidency. It’s this type of stance that has made her very popular in Ireland. She will be entering the last year of her term in 2011, and doesn’t want her legacy to include the controversy her attendance would create as her footnote.
This will come as a major blow to the parade organizers who were hoping to make next year’s event an historic showcase. Reports say New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, is under consideration to replace the vacant spot. Dolan would probably be a better fit given the parade’s anti-gay policy. He has been quoted as saying, “we’re not anti-gay…we’re pro-marriage.”
Major props to Mary McAleese for standing firm with her views. If only more world leaders had her compassion, this world would be a much happier place.