Gays and lesbians have once again been barred from marching openly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.

The annual parade attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators to the streets.

Advocate.com reports that the city’s leading openly gay elected official, city council speaker Christine Quinn, requested a meeting with the parade organisers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, as she has done every year, to discuss the possibility of gays being allowed to march openly.

She told the website she has not received a response.

For years, the parade policy has been to allow gays and lesbians to participate only if they cover any identification of their sexual orientation, such as gay pride buttons or banners. T

According to the Hibernians, an Irish-American Catholic organisation, the parade they sponsor is a private religious celebration.