De Blasio Will Boycott the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office

Jumpin’ Bill De Blasio made waves last year when he skipped Manhattan’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in response to the organizer’s policy against displays of LGBT pride, and he’s on track to skip it again this year. While marching in Sunnyside’s “St. Pat’s For All” parade on Sunday, a celebration of Irish pride that included LGBT marchers with rainbow placards and flags, De Blasio confirmed that he won’t be participating in the 250-year-old Manhattan parade despite the inclusion of one delegation of LGBT activists from NBCUniversal.

“A lot of people feel, I think rightfully, that that is too small a change to merit a lot of us participating who have wanted to see an inclusive parade,” De Blasio told the New York Times. “Even though it is a statement of some progress that this NBC delegation has been included, we need something more to really feel like we have turned a corner.”

The Mayor’s boycott of the Manhattan parade, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan serving as the grand marshal this year, is just one of many clashes that De Blasio has had with Irish leaders. His fight against horse-drawn carriages, for example, has been a source of friction with Irish groups. The mayor suggested that, should the organizers of the Manhattan parade have a change of heart and include more LGBT groups, he’d be open to showing up: “There is still time for ongoing discussions that will be embracing for all.”  Maybe St. Pat’s 2016?

 

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