They see him Dolan.
The largest parade in the Western world, as Niall O’Dowd, the founder of IrishCentral and The Irish Voice, calls it, is no longer run by the A.O.H [Ancient Order of Hibernians]., but by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, seven volunteers in the Bronx…
…the power behind the parade is Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
Cardinal Dolan is essentially the arbiter,” O’Dowd says. “Every grand marshal is checked with him. The parade chairman always seeks the approval of the cardinal for who marches in the parade.” O’Dowd concedes that the organisers are “equal opportunity offenders. They also used to refuse to allow kids in wheelchairs into the parade.
“The big issue they face today is: Are they Irish or are they Catholic? If it was just an Irish parade, these people would have the power to let gays march. But the real power is with the Catholic Church.”
…..a special guest at the St. Patrick’s Day “parade for all” in Queens — which, unlike Manhattan, allows gay marchers to carry banners and signs — will be renowned Dublin drag queen Panti Bliss, whose real name is Rory O’Neill. He told me that in the “glittery, nutty” Dublin parade, “there’s no problem being absolutely as gay as anyone wants..a heterosexual parade seems to me an organised walk in the traffic lane.”