New York to allow gays to march in St Patrick's Day parade

The St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City is to allow a group of gay employees from NBC to march next year.

They will walk behind their own banner, according to IrishCentral.

NBC, who broadcast the St. Patrick’s Day parade every year, was prepared to drop its coverage unless a compromise was brokered over the exclusion of gay banners in the march.

The historic move will see a banner accompanying the gay NBC staffers in a compromise forged by several New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee members and a senior executive at NBC.

The move is to be confirmed at a reception at the New York Athletic Club today.

Guinness' withdrawal as sponsors of the parade last year was also seen as a major factor in the change, according to a former grand marshal.

The source, who revealed that Guinness had met with parade figures to negoatiate a compromise, said: "Once an iconic company like Guinness showed it was standing up pretty much everyone else had to follow."

It is not known whether the move will mean a more widespread gay presence next year.

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