Pride and prejudice : legalising compulsory heterosexuality in Boston and New York’s annual St Patrick Day parades

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Title: Pride and prejudice : legalising compulsory heterosexuality in Boston and New York’s annual St Patrick Day parades
Authors: Munt, Sally
O'Donnell, Katherine
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Date: Feb-2007
Abstract: This article discusses the vicious territorial disputes surrounding the tradition of St Patrick’s Day Parades through the city streets of New York and Boston, USA. It documents the legal arguments mounted successfully to exclude Irish lesbian, gay and transgender participants from the march, exploring what ideologies of nation-space and public space underpin them. It argues that the progression through urban space of the marches enforces compulsory heterosexuality, through actual and semiotic exclusion. Irish-American nationalism can be read as illustrative of the heterosexualisation of nationalism. It was the unquestioned assumption that being homosexual is antithetical to being Irish that provided the fundamental premise from which it was logically and successfully argued in the US courts: that the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization is a violent, obscene enemy bent on the destruction of Irish ethnicity and Irish communities. By contrast, the article holds up the Parades in Cork and Dublin as designated inclusive and multicultural events, the nation-space of the Irish Republic ‘economically liberated’ and wishing to communicate modernity to its citizens.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Journal: Space and Culture
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Start page: 91
End page: 114
Copyright (published version): 2007 Sage Publications
Keywords: St. Patrick's DayHeterosexualityNew YorkBostonIrish LGBTNation spaceIrish American NationalismStreet marchesSt. Patrick's Day paradesPride marches
Subject LCSH: Saint Patrick's Day--United States
Parades--New York (State)--New York
Homosexuality--Law and legislation
Gays--Legal status, laws, etc
Irish Americans--Ethnic identity
DOI: 10.1177/1206331206296379
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed 2010-08-27T14:17:29Z
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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