While local politicians and others have applauded NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade organizers for agreeing to allow one LGBT group to openly march in the parade next year, some activists are far from satisfied with what they see as a token concession. The group Irish Queers has issued a statement condemning parade organizers' agreement with OUT@NBCUniversal, which is comprised of employees of NBC, the network that sponsors and broadcasts the parade. Here's the full statement:

Irish Queers—along with the scores of LGBT individuals, groups, and allies who have fought since 1991 for a parade that includes the whole Irish community—is learning about the change in the NYC St. Patrick's Day parade at the same time as the rest of New York City and the Irish community. We welcome this cracking of the veneer of hate, but so far Irish LGBT groups are still not able to march in our community's parades. The fight continues.

This is a deal that was made behind closed doors between parade organizers and one of their last remaining sponsors, NBC. It allows NBC's gay employees to march, but embarrassingly has not ended the exclusion of Irish LGBT groups. The parade organizers have said, astoundingly, that we "can apply" in years to come.

To the extent that parade organizers have changed their tune, it's the result of Irish Queers' many years of organizing, which led to last year's refusal to march by Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, Mayor de Blasio and others, the withdrawal of major corporate sponsors and escalating criticism of uniformed city workers marching in the Parade.

We welcome this small victory, but our call remains the same -- the parade must be open to Irish LGBT groups, not "in subsequent years" but now. (We remember too well how parade organizers used fake waiting lists to bury our applications before.)

The Irish community in Ireland and abroad is far more progressive than the parade committee, having abandoned the secretive power-mongering of the days when the Catholic Church held sway over politics. We still hope NYC will catch up. This has been a long, long journey and struggle. It is time for Irish LGBT people, marching under our own banner, to take our rightful place in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

"Irish Queers had been campaigning about the parade for many years," adds activist William Dobbs. "NBC is an American corporation, their employee group sure isn’t Irish. When will Irish LGBT groups get to march?"

Meanwhile, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis struck a more hospitable tone, telling the Times, "It’s about time. Discrimination has no place on America’s streets, least of all on Fifth Avenue. As an Irish-Catholic American, I look forward to a fully inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade that I can share with my wife and children, just as my own parents shared with me."

And former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, an openly gay Irish-American, told the Daily News, "Those of us who are Irish and LGBT would watch this city celebrate and know we weren’t welcome. To have that end, not only puts all of that behind us, I hope it sends a message to communities all over the world to not give up the fight. Be proud of yourself. Don’t hide who you are.”