St Patrick’s Day Inclusion Problems

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Top of the morning and happy hangover to you all. Yes it is that time of year when any of us capable of stringing a few sentences together claim Celtic affiliation and undergo a transformation via Guinness that leaves us unable to string a few sentences together.

I spent my St Patty’s in Boston, home of one of the largest Irish communities in the US. Yesterday evening I saw a few stumblers on the streets, plenty of green hats, and people dressed inappropriately for the minus 10 weather.

In Utrecht reports are of a fine weekend of revelry. Mick O’connells had to cancel its traditional Monday night pub quiz, as the DJ and band took over, but if you missed the celebration don’t worry, so did O’Leary’s. They are having their party on Friday 21st, just about far enough away to fully recover from the last celebration.

The Irish Club of the Netherlands also organized a parade in Den Haag, find details of what you missed here.

Here in the US the biggest parades take place in Boston and New York, but this year they were not without controversy.

In New York and Boston both Mayors refused to participate in the parades over arguments about gay rights. In both cities the argument involved groups of gay military and police veterans who were not allowed to “advertise” their homosexuality during the march (and so did not march). Agreement could not be reached between the organizers and the groups and the result was that the NYPD were bood in some areas as they marched down the streets and tension was high.

Protesting the Parade

Protesting the Parade

It wasn’t just the two Mayors who decided to pull out however. In Boston Sam Adams Beers, the largest brewery and a huge sponsor withdrew its support, and even more dramatically in New York Guinness dropped its sponsorship of the event amid reports that people were going to boycott their products over their involvement in the parade.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993, which seems very recent, but Ireland has moved on quickly since then. Homosexual couples can enter into a civil partnership but cannot legally marry, and there are several acts aimed at discriminatory protection. Gay groups openly participate in the Dublin parade, but maybe inn the USA old habits and ideas die hard.

A search of the web offers all sides of the story.

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Jonny Hankins

Author of the 2012 ebook "A Handbook for Responsible Innovation" (99c from Amazon), Jonny works for the Bassetti Foundation in Milan publishing articles on innovation and responsibility on their website and also blogging about his interests. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Responsible Innovation and a member of the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability.

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