The Big Apple’s iconic Irish parade makes a step in the right direction.

Organizers of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade have finally lifted the discriminatory ban on LGBT groups participating in the annual march.The parade committee has announced that next year it will allow OUT@NBCUniversal, an LGBT support group at the TV network that broadcasts the popular event, to officially participate under its own banner. It is hoped that the move will pave the way for other LGBT groups to be allowed to apply to march in the parade.

Although Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who opposes equality for LGBT people, will lead the parade as grand marshal, the HRC’sFoundation’s Religion and Faith Program has praised the lifting of the ban for OUT@NBCU as a step in the right direction.

“We are pleased that the changes proposed by the parade committee will finally make it possible for LGBT Americans—including Irish Catholic LGBT Americans—to officially march under their own banners,” said Sharon Groves, director of the HRC. “The discriminatory ban has been shameful, particularly in the very city where the LGBT rights movement got its start 45 years ago at the Stonewall Inn.”

Earlier this year, brewers Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams dropped their sponsorships of St. Patrick’s Day parades that perpetuate discrimination against LGBT groups. Former NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, although Irish, herself personally boycotted the parade.

Current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had also pledged to continue to boycott the parade until discrimination against LGBT groups ended.

“Hopefully, today’s developments will lead to full inclusion of LGBT groups in the New York parade, and encourage parade organizers in other cities like Boston to follow suit and end their discrimination,” Groves said.