Mayor de Blasio is sticking to his progressive guns and has confirmed that he won't march in this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade, because the parade doesn't allow gay groups to march. He told reporters, "I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish-Americans, but I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city."
De Blasio did emphasize he didn't march in the parade as Public Advocate. However, responding to the call from gay rights groups and city officials like Public Advocate Letitia James to ban uniformed city employees (like cops and firefighters) from marching, he said, "I believe that uniformed city workers have a right to participate if they choose to and I respect that right."
Hilary Beirne, of the NYC St. Patricks' Day Parade organization, told the Wall Street Journal that the parade isn't discriminatory and that it is a "celebration of Irish heritage and culture—nothing more, nothing less." Beirne said gays and lesbians can march—they just can't identify themselves as gay with signs. Beirner said, "There's another parade in New York City that celebrates being gay and being lesbian, and that's the Gay Pride Parade. Our parade is specifically for a celebration of our Irish heritage and our culture."
The Catholic League was faux-outraged at de Blasio's stance, with its president Bill Donohue saying, "This is the first time in New York City history that its mayor has decided to boycott the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Personally, I am delighted: I lead the Catholic League contingent every year, and I do not want to march with a public official who does not want to be associated with Irish Catholics."
Never mind that both Mayor David Dinkins and Governor Mario Cuomo boycotted the parade in 1992! And when Dinkins marched with a gay group in 1991, he was booed for 40 blocks and even had beer cans thrown at him.