Hizzoner Says No to St. Patty’s Day Parade

2.4.2014

By Matthew Breen

If LGBTs can’t march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, neither will New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

Since the early 1990s, the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) has been petitioning to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the oldest and largest parade in the United States honoring the ethnic origins of an American group. And each and every time they’ve applied to march, they’ve been rejected. Parade organizers won’t allow gay pride signs, flags, or banners in the parade either. Which makes the organizers big jerks.

Yet each year, New York City mayors have marched in the parade, viewing it as politically important. Ed Koch and David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg all did it.

But Bill de Blasio won’t do it. Hooray for Bill! Mayor de Blasio said in a press conference (on another matter): “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.”

The parade brings in a million spectators, and will include marching bands, Irish dancers, and lots and lots of Irish-Americans. But no flag-waving queers. It’s a mean-spirited exclusion, and the organizers should once again be ashamed of themselves. We’re glad to see de Blasio is giving it a miss. In past years, he’s attended an alternative, gay-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade in Queens.

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