For the first time, the St. Patrick's Day Parade will allow a group of people who wear blended fabrics to march openly in this year's parade.
The Bible, specifically Deuteronomy 22:11, bans wearing fabric-blended garments. Parade organizers, who are sticklers for Old Testament rule enforcement, had upheld a ban on mixed fabrics to keep with the Catholic Church's tradition in the parade. In years past, many groups have applied to march in the parade wearing more comfortable linen and wool blends while carrying banners and playing bagpipes, but were always denied.
Last year, Guinness, which originated in Dublin, withdrew its parade sponsorship in solidarity with its many customers who wear and care about the rights of people who wear blended fabrics. Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose wife openly wears blended fabrics, refused to march last year, too.
While many hail this year's decision to allow a single group of synthetic fiber-clad people to march openly in the parade as a great leap in having a more open and less fabric-phobic parade, others are saying the move doesn't go far enough.
The group Wool Gauze Blend Textiles (WGBT) isn't an Irish one, and many feel that giving its members marching privileges is a way of avoiding the image that Irish people and WGBT people are the same.
The parade's grand marshal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who I'm sure never ever wears any mixed blend or synthetic fabric ever, ever, ever, nor has sinful thoughts about wearing such garments, supports allowing this WGBT group to march. The Catholic Church does not organize the parade, fund it, or officially decide who can march, but his eminence did thank parade organizers for keeping the parade close to its Catholic heritage.
That sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it? So does allowing only one LGBT group (that isn't even specifically Irish) to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Really, if you're going to wave the Bible around and only allow certain groups to join your parade, you should really embrace the whole Bible.
Let he who doesn't own polyester cast the first stone.
Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.