NYC Mayor Won’t March in St. Patrick’s Day Parade Over Gay Exclusion; Says Workers Can

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio says he'll continue a personal boycott of the St. Patrick's Day parade because of its "exclusion of some individuals in the city," Politicker reports:

DeblasioSaid De Blasio:

“No I am not planning on marching in the parade, I haven’t in the past in my capacity as a public official,” he added. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city … But I simply disagree with the organizer of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in the city.”

The mayor says, however, that he won't stop uniformed city workers from doing so:

“I believe that uniformed city workers have a right to participate if they choose to. And I respect that right."

The parade bars the participation of gay groups.

Gay City News had called on the mayor to ban uniformed workers from marching in an open letter signed by many LGBT rights organizations

The presence of uniformed police and firefighters in such a procession sends a clear signal to LGBTQ New Yorkers that these personnel, who are charged with serving and protecting all New Yorkers, do not respect the lives or safety of LGBT people. It confirms the practice of the NYPD and FDNY at times of targeting certain communities for discrimination. What’s more, it betrays the current work of high level government agencies and human rights advocates working internationally against the current wave of extreme anti-LGBTQ legislation and discriminatory practices occurring in countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, and Russia.

Indeed, legal precedent on this matter, in Pappas v. Giuliani, 290 F.3d 143 (2d Cir. 2002), says: “The effectiveness of a city’s police department depends importantly on the respect and trust of the community and on the perception in the community that it enforces the law fairly, even-handedly, and without bias. If the police department treats a segment of the population of any race, religion, gender, national origin, or sexual preference, etc., with contempt, so that the particular minority comes to regard the police as oppressor rather than protector, respect for law enforcement is eroded and the ability of the police to do its work in that community is impaired.”


  1. Sean says

    As a gay Irish-American, I really wish the time would come when these loser, old-timers stop running the parades and let regular, tolerant, and normal people run the show. It’s the same story here in Boston; the mayor and governor never marched because of the exclusion of gay groups.

    I **REALLY** appreciated it a few years back when the Prime Minister of Ireland commented on this nonsense and said “exclusion” is not an issue Ireland and they let all groups march; that BS was a made-up American issue.

  2. JackFknTwist says

    Excellent !
    The President of Ireland last year (or the year before), Mary McAleese, refused to participate in this old farts’ parade.
    The organizers, ‘The Ancient Order of Hibernians’ need to die off……they are all old Catholic bigots living in the past, with a perspective of an Ireland that never existed, no matter how priest ridden we have been in the old days.

  3. Mike Ryan says

    I’m Irish. My boyfriend is French. I’m surprised many watching this joke of a parade aren’t throwing eggs at the participants. I’m not encouraging anyone to do such a thing but I am just saying …

  4. unokhan says

    let’s see … gay people CAN participate in the sochi olympics but NOT the st. pat’s parade. and every other soul has got their knickers in a twist over the former but not the latter… okay i get it

  5. Manuel says

    As a proud Puerto Rican and gay man, I want to know if the Mayor will be boycotting the Puerto Rican Day parade too since they don’t allow any openly gay Puerto Rican groups to march. And I haven’t seen any gay Italian-American groups marching in the Columbus Day parade either. Why not? Gay groups should be allowed to march in ALL NYC parades….including the Thanksgiving Day parade.

  6. andrew says

    This gay grandson of Irish Immigrants says: Thank you Mr. De Blasio for refusing to march in the parade. I also agree with your decision not to ban uniformed city workers from marching, if that is their choice. While I strongly believe that a uniformed city employee who chooses to march has made a bad choice, it is his/her choice to make.

  7. Emmaia says

    @TonyJazz – Let’s hold off on thanking DeBlasio for not marching. He just told the NYPD and FDNY they’re welcome to put the City’s endorsement on the biggest anti-queer event in the nation!

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