Young Dems Stand Up for Equality on Staten Island

Earlier today I hopped on the Staten Island Ferry with some fellow MYD’ers to march with the Young Dems of Richmond County in the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Despite the rain, spirits were high and everyone was eager to march.

Earlier this week we blogged about the controversy surrounding this year’s parade, but as we made our way to the parade starting point our only goal was to march and have fun!

Things got off to a rocky start as our starting position kept getting moved by the parade officials.  When all was said and done, we were literally the last group in the entire parade.  Then, just as we were about to begin marching, a parade official told us that he had heard rumors we were planning to unfurl a gay banner, and that if we did so, the police would remove us from the parade.  I’m still not quite sure what constitutes a “gay” banner.

The only banner we carried read, “Young Democrats of Richmond County.”  Several Young Dems did, however, wear small rainbow flags in their pockets in solidarity with our LGBT friends who were not allowed to march in the parade.  You can see the highly offensive and disruptive flags for yourself:

Apparently these tiny flags so incensed parade officials that they attempted to remove us from the parade route.  Below is a video I shot which shows one parade official attempting to stop a YDRC member from marching:

Despite the ruckus, the Young Dems marched on.  Parade officials again attempted to remove us, but the NYPD, realizing we were doing nothing wrong, allowed us to continue.  In the end, we were able to march the entire parade route!

I am immensely proud to be have been a part of this march today.  As Young Democrats, we have an obligation to stand up for equality for all Americans.  MYD was honored to take part in this event with the Young Dems of Richmond County.