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Staten Island to hold St. Patrick's Day Parade welcoming LGBTQ groups for the first time

Staten Island will host 2nd St. Patrick's Day parade to welcome LGBTQ+ marchers
Staten Island will host 2nd St. Patrick's Day parade to welcome LGBTQ+ marchers 02:10

NEW YORK -- For the first time, an additional inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade will be held on Staten Island.

The original controversial parade continues to ban the LGBTQ community from attending under their flag.

"For years, I've pushed and talked about being inclusive during the parade," Mayor Eric Adams told CBS New York's Natalie Duddridge.

We caught up with the mayor, who confirmed he authorized the additional parade, which will be LGBTQ+ friendly. Now, there will be two parades.

"I thought it was a brilliant idea," Adams said.

For years, Staten Island parade organizers denied applications from groups like the Pride Center of Staten Island and the Gay Officers Action League, leading many Staten Islanders to boycott it.

"My school has not marched in the parade for the last five years as a choice that the students made, but this year, I can't wait to go back to work on Monday and tell the kids that we're able to march in this parade," said Andrew Greenfield, principal of Port Richmond High School.

Kim Beckett is helping to organize the new parade as a member of the Business Improvement District. She also owns Burrito Bar, which keeps a sign reading "We stand for inclusivity" in the window.

Even though she says the permit for the new parade is a win, many are still hesitant to celebrate.

"There's a little nerves because we don't wanna step on anyone's toes and that's not the reason why we're doing it. It's just we want to have a celebration," she said.

The larger Manhattan St. Patrick's Day parade lifted its ban on LGBTQ groups marching in 2014, but Staten Island still hasn't. We tried contacting the organizer, but there was no answer. We did get a statement from Catholic League President Bill Donohue, saying in part:

"New York City Mayor Eric Adams has authorized a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Staten Island, one whose express purpose is to compete with, and undermine, a traditional St. Patrick's Day Parade that honors the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New York. His aggression smacks of bigotry and is arguably illegal."

The borough's original parade will still be held on Forest Avenue on March 2. The new parade is on St. Patrick's Day itself, March 17.

"It's nice to have two parades where we can just kind of bring more people," a local business owner said.

"If someone wants to march and they're gay, as long as they're wearing green that day, I really don't care," one person said.

This second parade follows the same route; it's just a little shorter, starting on Hart Avenue and ending on Broadway.

Organizers say they just want everyone to feel included.

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