New York mayor to skip St. Patrick's parade over gay group exclusion

Wed Feb 5, 2014 8:27am EST

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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(Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not march in the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade, an annual spectacle that draws about 1 million people to Fifth Avenue, because event organizers do not allow gay-rights groups to participate.

"I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in his city," de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday.

Parade organizers do not allow gay rights groups or marchers with gay-pride signs to participate in the event, saying that doing so would conflict with the Roman Catholic heritage of the event, which traces its roots back to the colonial era.

De Blasio becomes the first New York City mayor to boycott the event since David Dinkins, the last Democrat elected to the office, in 1993.

The Roman Catholic church teaches that homosexual acts are immoral and opposes gay marriage, though Pope Francis has avoided the repeated denunciations of gay people made by his predecessors, saying in a July interview, "who am I to judge?"

The parade will be held on Mar 17.

(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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Comments (43)
Zeken wrote:
It’s a private parade, they don’t have to include anyone they don’t want. Hizzoner won’t be missed.

Feb 05, 2014 9:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
4825 wrote:
The parade organizers probably do not care what de blah does.

Feb 05, 2014 9:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:
No real loss.

Feb 05, 2014 10:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
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