Gay groups included in New York parade

By Associated Press in New York and Dublin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-19 08:11:08

The largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States kicked off on Thursday in New York City, and for the first time in decades, gay activists were not decrying it as an exercise in exclusion.

The first 200,000 marchers began striding up Fifth Avenue just after 11 am in a procession of throbbing pipes and drums, smiling dignitaries and waving flags.

As always, it was a celebration of Irish heritage, but this year's parade also stands to close a long chapter of controversy. A year after a limited easing of the parade's prohibition on gay groups, organizers have opened the lineup to include activists who protested the ban for years.

Gay groups included in New York parade

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