De Blasio to Sit Out St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Which Doesn’t Welcome Gay Groups

By
Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Bill de Blasio takes lots of opportunities to differentiate himself from his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg. On Tuesday, he did that and more when he split with the last twenty years of mayoral tradition and announced he would not march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade because of its policy toward gay participants. While they're allowed to march, they can't identify themselves as gay. "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," De Blasio said. Though he said he wouldn't stop uniformed city workers from marching, despite calls for a boycott. "I believe that uniformed city workers have a right to participate if they choose to. And I respect that right," he said.