NEW YORK – St. Patrick’s Day festivities were in full swing Sunday with the usual merriment of bagpipes and beer, but political tensions lingered in the northeastern U.S., where city leaders will be conspicuously absent from parades over gay rights issues.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will become the first mayor in decades to sit out the traditional march today because parade organizers refuse to let participants carry pro-gay signs. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh wasn’t marching in his city’s parade Sunday, either, after talks broke down that would have allowed a gay group to march.
Still, thousands of green-clad spectators came out for the parade in Boston to watch bagpipers, and organizers of a float intended to promote diversity threw Mardi Gras-type beads at onlookers. A similar scene played out in downtown Philadelphia.
In Georgia, the dome of Savannah’s City Hall will be lit green, and several thousand people braved temperatures in the teens on Sunday to march with pipe and drum bands in Detroit and Bay City, Mich.
Parade organizers have said gay groups are not prohibited from marching, but are not allowed to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT.
Some LGBT groups planned to protest the parade along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue today. Others had planned to dump Guinness beer from the shelves of the Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the gay rights movement, in protest of the brewer’s plan to sponsor the parade, but that demonstration was canceled late Sunday after Guinness said in a statement that it had dropped its sponsorship.
Other beer companies joined the boycotts earlier, with Sam Adams withdrawing its sponsorship of Boston’s parade and Heineken following suit in New York.
Protesting migrants arrested at border
TIJUANA, Mexico – Sixty Mexican migrants were detained Sunday by U.S. authorities after they crossed into the United States from the border city of Tijuana as part of a protest against U.S. immigration policies.
It was the third such group to try to enter the U.S. at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego and ask for asylum in the last week.
The group, led by two young sisters whose parents live in North Carolina, held signs that read “Undocumented Unashamed,” and “Immigration reform starts here.” They said before crossing that they were protesting a growing number of deportations during President Barack Obama’s administration and demanding an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.
The sisters, Jacqueline and Marisol Aparicio, ages 11 and 12, said they want to reunite with their parents, whom they haven’t seen in 10 years.
Mothers holding their children’s hands, young students and others met outside a Tijuana health clinic before heading to the U.S.
Demonstrators known as “dreamers” first claimed asylum at border crossings in Arizona and Texas last year. They call themselves “dreamers” after the Dream Act, failed legislation that was designed to allow some young immigrants to stay in the U.S.
LAPD gets loaner Lamborghini
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Police Department is getting a Lamborghini.
But don’t expect to see the exotic Italian sports car – decked out with police decals and painted black and white – pursuing fugitive drivers down the city’s freeways.
Officer Sally Madera said the car is privately owned and will be loaned to police for “charity events and recruitment.”
KNBC-TV reports that Nathalie and Travis Marg of a Los Angeles-based telecommunications company called Light Source 1, Inc., donated the use of their car to support the department’s air support team.
According to Lamborghini’s website, the 2014 model of the car has a top speed of 199 mph.