The Irish Echo has named out lesbian New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn as its “Irish American of the Year,” citing her hard work in the Council and her advocacy for Irish causes, especially peace and justice in Northern Ireland. Quinn has boycotted the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade over its refusal to allow LGBT Irish contingents to participate openly since the now defunct Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization first applied in 1991. She has been arrested in protests against the exclusion.
“Speaker Quinn continues to work toward an inclusive St. Patrick's Day Parade,” her office said in a response to a query, “and looks forward to the day when she can march up Fifth Avenue with LGBT Irish New Yorkers in a way that celebrates their heritage and identity. She continues to have conversations with Irish-American leaders about the desire to see an inclusive parade.”