Like we said, it's Irish month around here. So here's the first annual Essefficist St. Patrick's Day column you've all been waiting for. We've got two questions today: one about a St. Pat's parade controversy and one about an Irish whiskey controversy. Here's the first one:

I don't know if that's a question you're interested in taking on (actually, I'm not really even sure what the question is), especially since it has nothing to do with SF. But, well, there it is.


St.Pat'sBart.jpgFirst off, it looks like the bigoted parade in question is in Boston, not New York. The controversy started in 1992 culminated in a Supreme Court decision in 1995 that basically allows the private organizers of the event, the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston--a group led by a man named, appropriately enough, John ''Wacko'' Hurley--to ban anyone from the march whom they damn well feel like banning from the march, including the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, who filed the original suit. (This book should tell you all you might want to know about the case. Unfortunately, it sounds like this kind of stuff is still going on in Boston.) As for New York, there's actually an annual St. Paddy's parade in Queens that specifically welcomes any and all groups that want to march.

I have a St. Patrick's Day question, but it has nothing to do with SF. I had an argument with my libertarian brother-in-law some years ago in which he disparaged the idea of a gay rights march. He said there was no such thing as a hetero rights march, so why should there be a gay rights one? I countered that the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York was effectively a hetero rights march, since they banned gays from marching openly (at least at that time -- I don't know what the official policy is these days).