March 17, 2006
The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, will not be marching today in the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Fifth Avenue despite efforts by her aides and supporters to reach a compromise with parade organizers.
Ms. Quinn, who is a lesbian, had sought to wear a symbol like a gay-pride pin, button or sash while marching alongside council members and gay supporters. But she said yesterday that those efforts had failed.
Ms. Quinn's decision came as John Dunleavy, the parade chairman, touched off a new controversy by comparing Irish gay activists to neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. In an interview yesterday in The Irish Times, Mr. Dunleavy was quoted as saying, "If an Israeli group wants to march in New York, do you allow neo-Nazis into their parade? If African-Americans are marching in Harlem, do they have to let the Ku Klux Klan into their parade?"