Gay press reports FIA apology over India Day Parade

Wednesday Aug 19, 2009 — A gay online news site reported today that an executive of the group that organizes the annual India Day Parade in Manhattan apologized for the exclusion of a gay and lesbian organization from the parade.

Nirav Mehta, executive vice president of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), told a reporter for EDGE that the exclusion of the South Asian Lesbian Gay Association (SALGA) was due to a volunteer’s clerical error.

“We apologize,” Mehta told the reporter. “There was some confusion and mistakes, and we will be more than happy to welcome them next year. They can be part of our parade, and we will have no problem.”

The latest statement contradicts SALGA’s experience of the application process as well as earlier statements by FIA officials. Emails and phone records retained by SALGA document an FIA representative stating that SALGA’s request was forwarded to the FIA board for approval.  FIA President Dipak Patel, reached by phone last Friday, stated emphatically that the exclusion was not an administrative error.

Additional information:

Latest on the controversy and resource list for journalists & others: http://www.minalhajratwala.com/2009/08/gays-barred-from-ny-india-day-parade-resource-list/

EDGE article (8/19/09) reporting FIA apology: http://www.edgeunitedstates.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=95244

Account of Sunday’s protests (8/16/09): http://www.minalhajratwala.com/2009/08/gay-hind-ny-india-day-parade-draws-protesters/

Photographs of Sunday’s protests available for media use (8/16/09) (MUST be credited to Roopa Singh, http://politicalpoet.wordpress.com):  http://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalpoetry/

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