The organisers of the annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade have been slammed for continuing to bar representatives from the LGBT community from participating.

Dublin LGBTQ Pride described the event’s stance as “discriminatory” and “un-Irish”, reports Ireland On-Line. The parade is organised by the Catholic group, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and attracts around 150,000 participants every year.

According to Frank Cleary, chairperson of Dublin Pride, “The exclusion of any groups from celebrating our national holiday abroad is deeply discriminatory and rooted in close mindedness”.

“This is deeply un-Irish and something that we cannot allow to happen in the name of an event that is about celebrating Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, of which the LGBT community are a corner stone here in Ireland.

“Dublin Pride is calling on the organisers of the St. Patrick’s Day festival in New York to cease their discrimination and to facilitate a full expression of the cultural diversity that exists in Ireland.”

While the parade, held every March 17, cannot stop individual gays and lesbians from participating, it has refused to allow LGBT groups and organisations to take part.

In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, criticised the parade’s organisers: “I think all parades in this city should be open to everybody, no matter what your orientation or ethnicity or anything else is.”

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