Mayor Bill de Blasio said today he will sit out the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade because of organizers’ refusal to allow participants to carry gay-pride signs.
LGBT New Yorkers are allowed to walk in the parade, but they aren’t allowed to identify themselves by their sexual orientation.
“No, I am not planning on marching in the parade,” de Blasio said at a City Hall press conference. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city, but I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade.”
His predecessors, Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, marched every year that they were in office.
In response to an open letter telling city workers not to participate, de Blasio said they should participate if they want to.
“I believe uniformed city workers have a right to participate if they choose to, and I respect that right,” he said.
The parade is expected to draw more than 1 million on March 17.