New York mayor: I won’t march in St Patrick’s Day parade until it includes gay people

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New York Mayor Bill De Blasio has said he will continue to boycott New York’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade until it includes LGBT people.

DeBlasio boycotted the St Patrick’s Day parade in March this year, becoming the first New York mayor in over 20 years not to attend.

The annual event – which attracts over a million tourists each year – does not allow openly gay group to march.

Yesterday, while serving as Grand Marshall of Brooklyn Pride alongside wife Chirlane McCray, De Blasio said he will never take part in the St Patrick’s Day march, until it changes its priorities.

He said: “When it comes to the question of parades, you will see Chirlane at this parade or me at this parade, but you will not see us at a parade that excludes members of the LGBT community.

“That is not what we do in New York City.”

At the event yesterday he also commended City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, “the first openly gay councilman in Brooklyn history.”

Speaking before the parade, organiser Mickey Heller said: “We’re very excited about our grand marshals because they have been very supportive of all of us over the years. They have been really supportive of diversity in general.

“If nothing else, its a time to come together and just celebrate life. Even though it’s called Pride Fest, it’s really about everyone.”