Officials from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York’s Staten Island borough clashed with at least one marcher who attempted to display gay
pride Sunday in violation of discriminatory new parade regulations.
According to the New York Post, “St. Jermaine Endeley, a New York University student, was marching with the Young Democrats of Richmond County when he started getting hassled by parade honcho Dennis McKeon over a lapel pin that Endeley was wearing in support of a gay and lesbian group not allowed to march.”
McKeon denied pushing Endeley and insisted that the group was trying
to “sneak” gay people into the march, according to the Post. His
daughter, Lorraine McKeon Scanni, is reported to be a cofounder of the
Staten Island Tea Party.
The Young Democrats marched in solidarity with the group Staten Island Pride Events, which was effectively rendered invisible this year because of a ban on gay pride signage. Such displays have long been banned from the larger St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan that many local elected officials already boycott.
Citywide elected officials including city council speaker Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian, condemned the latest ban on Sunday at a press conference before the inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Queens. They vowed not to participate in the Staten Island parade until it drops its antigay policies.
Watch the video of the parade confrontation.