March 15th, 2013 By Hannah McCartney | News | Posted In: Social Justice, LGBT Issues

St. Patrick's Day Parade Apparently Anti-LGBT

Seelbach lobbies citizens to boycott parade, contact organizer in protest

news_chris_seelbachCity Councilman Chris Seelbach
City Councilman Chris Seelbach wants Cincinnatians amped up for this weekend's Cincinnati St. Patrick's Day Parade to be aware that the parade's organizers are purporting an anti-LGBT agenda by refusing to allow the Cincinnati chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to participate in the parade.

GLSEN works within k-12 schools to prevent bullying by striving for equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. According to Seelbach, who is an ally of the Cincinnati LGBT community, GLSEN informed him that their request to participate in the parade was declined by one of the parade's organizers, Chris Schulte, specifically because "it's their parade, it's an Irish Catholic parade and we don't want any members of the gay and lesbian community to be affiliated."

"I was floored when I heard the news," says Seelbach. He called Schulte directly in hopes of reasoning changing his mind quietly, without the need for any publicity. "You know, the city helps fund this parade, and the city has made it very clear that we will not tolerate any kind of discrimination against gay people."

Schulte denied the request, according to Seelbach, which propelled him to make a post on Facebook informing people of the decision and requesting that others not walk in the parade as a sign of support. "By participating, in a sense, you're supporting their decision. They [GLSEN] just want to wear their T-shirts and walk in the parade."

The parade is set to take place tomorrow, Saturday, March 16 at noon beginning at Eggleston Avenue and Reedy Street downtown.

Seelbach is also suggesting people contact Schulte to urge him to allow GLSEN to participate at 513-941-3798 or info@cincystpatsparade.com. CityBeat's attempt to contact Schulte by phone was unsuccessful. We'll update this story if we receive any new information.

03.15.2013 at 01:16 Reply

Well, I think I'll be going to the parade now.  I find it hilarious that people act surprised that a parade celebrating a Catholic Saint wouldn't want involment from the gay community.  Shouldn't Catholics have the right to hold their belief that homosexuality is a sin, and not have to be subject to attempts to shame them into allowing something they believe is wrong into their parade.


03.15.2013 at 02:27

@ Mike - No one is pushing their beliefs off on anybody. But it the parade organizers want to exclude people, then perhaps they shouldn't be using city money for their parade. It is particially funded by the city. 


03.15.2013 at 08:14

@Mike The Catholics have a right to exclude anyone they want from PRIVATE events. This is a public event that is funded by tax-dollars. I hope the city pulls their support of these ignorant and backward organizers who really want to take Cincinnati back to the politics of yesterday. It's time to grow up and learn how the world works.


03.15.2013 at 02:25 Reply

I have yet to see or hear any word from Mr. Schulte. I can believe this without participation from both sides.


03.15.2013 at 02:38 Reply

I love it!!


03.15.2013 at 04:44 Reply

Both Miller Coors and Guinness are corporate sponsors of the parade.  I contacted both to let them know what's happening. 


03.16.2013 at 01:15 Reply

I just emailed Mr. Schulte. I am so appalled. I hope he gets sued. If he wants to promote hate and intolerance, let him fund his parade with money from religious organizations that support his backward thinking...NOT public city money.