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Statement on the Staten Island St. Patrick's Day Parade

Our organization has historically stood with Irish LGBTQIA+ People who wish to celebrate their dual identities on St. Patrick's Day, a day that not only celebrates St. Patrick as a patron Saint of Ireland but also Irish Culture and the Irish Peoples contributions to our nation.

 

Promoting tolerance, compassion and understanding should be benchmarks of faith. Alienating people, marginalizing people and using faith to exercise bigotry are not the values that were instilled in me by my parents and extolled on me, as I am a product of Catholic Education. 

I firmly condemn the abhorrent behavior of Parade organizer Larry Cummings, who has become increasingly unhinged and disgusting with each passing year. The physical confrontation and attempted intimidation of a New York City Council Member while he was with his family including young children just a few years ago and the recent incident where he bullied a reporter. This type of behavior is not acceptable and should not be embraced by any community, nonetheless a Catholic Community. We must take a stand against any form of bullying and violence, especially when it is intended to intimidate or harm another person.

I wanted to make this message very clear - we will not be intimidated by Larry Cummings. As the leader of this organization, I remain open to productive dialogue with parties that will work together to seek reasonable and equitable solutions that enable all to move forward.

I want you to know that I will not, however, be engaging in any discussions with Larry Cummings. The streets of New York City can no longer be a bigoted cesspool where people like Larry Cummings can spew their hateful views unchecked. His rhetoric does not belong in any environment, nor does it reflect the values of our organization. We must take a stand against hate and it is imperative that those who espouse such beliefs are removed from any leadership positions they may hold - and quickly.

We must remain steadfast in our commitment to doing what is right and standing up for what is just. We need to show that we are not afraid of threats or intimidation and that we are willing to fight for what we believe in.

I want to thank Joyce Garrison, our Corresponding Secretary, for representing us today and for carrying herself with grace, class and dignity in the face of hate, bigotry and anger. 

 

We will not back down, the fight continues.



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