(PINKNEWS) – Irish leader Leo Varadkar has marched with his partner Matt in New York St Patrick’s Day Parade – which until recently banned LGBT groups.
Ireland’s out Taoiseach (prime minister) has been a trip to the US for St Patrick’s Day, already raising LGBT rights with Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Due to the strong influence of conservative Catholic groups, the parade had maintained a decades-long ban on LGBT groups. It slowly lifted the rule in 2016 and 2017, under pressure from commercial sponsors.
Mr Varadkar acknowledged: “It was a real privilege to march with my partner. Only a few years ago people couldn’t march under the rainbow banner, but that has all changed.
“Ireland has embraced diversity and inclusiveness, and Irish Americans in New York have embraced that too.”
The leader also paid a visit to the Stonewall Inn – the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement ahead of the march.