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americaflagSaturday’s St Patrick’s Day parade saw it’s 251st march celebrating the Irish saint in New York city.

It’s 2012, and in the state of New York, gay marriage is legal.  Throughout the USA, gays and lesbians are no longer banned from the military, but they are still banned from the world’s largest Paddy show – Fifth Avenue’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

A Catholic group called the Ancient Order of Hibernians organised the parade for many years and banned gay groups from openly marching on the basis that the parade is a religious procession. Although the group has now stepped back as the main organisers, many of them still sit on the voluntary committee, reports the Guardian.

A majority of New York politicians who support equality won’t march in the parade, reports the Albany Times, and last year, the President of Ireland publically declined an invitation to be Grand Marshal, due to the parade’s anti-gay stance. The current Irish foreign minister has slammed the parade, saying ‘Exclusion Is Not An Irish Thing’.

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