NYC Mayor Will Boycott St. Patrick’s Day Parade Because Of Its Antigay Policy

Bill de BlasioIn a clear signal to parade organizers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he will boycott the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because of its policy of forbidding pro-gay signs to be included in the parade.

“I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city,” said de Blasio at press conference on unrelated topics. “But I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade.”

De Blasio’s decision makes him the first New York City mayor in 20 years to sit out the parade. The event, which attracts about 200,000 marchers and 1 million attendees, is organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. As such, the parade is a private event and subject to the rules laid out by the AOH. Like it or not, the parade organizers have the right to be obnoxious and exclude anything they want.

However, politicians have always used the parade to strengthen their ties to the city’s Irish-American and Catholic population. De Blasio, who was raised Catholic but no longer attends church, is breaking with tradition by putting principle above politics. However, the mayor says he won’t stop uniformed city workers, such as police and fire fighters, from marching in the parade.

Bill Donohue, the one-man trolling operation for the Catholic right, professed to be pleased by de Blasio’s choice.  “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,” Donohue said.

It’s convenient for Donohue to pretend that de Blasio’s gripe is with Irish Catholics, when polls show a majority of Catholics support marriage equality. They would probably be a lot more comfortable with de Blasio on this issue than they ever would with Donohue. If anyone is out of step, it’s Donohue and the AOH.

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  • Spike

    Good for him. Taking a stand.

  • Kieran

    Yeah, but he’ll strut his fat ass at the Columbus, Puerto Rican, and West Indian Day parades even though they don’t allow gay groups to march. Fecking hypocrite.

  • jckfmsincty

    @Kieran: @Kieran: You know this, already?

  • jimbryant


    Exactly right!!! I’d like to know why Bill de Blasio will be marching in a West Indian parade, a parade which most definitely will NOT allow openly gay people to enter. Rather, it would probably commit violent acts on such gay people.

    de Blasio is your typical liberal hypocrite who plays the shout-out game as he giveth with one hand and taketh with the other.

  • Joetx

    Hmm, a liberal politician taking a stand against discrimination.

    Where’s our resident wingnut troll (jimbryant) & his multiple personalities to spew crap about liberals?

  • Joetx

    Speak of the devil – he posted right before I did!

  • michaelmt1009

    Bravo Mr. Mayor, I hope that more politicians follow your lead and stand up for whats right.

  • jimbryant

    Liberals are frauds. They exploit gay people for votes but then attend parades of cultures, such as the West Indian parade, which are renowned for homophobia.

  • murphy0071

    Any Irish Catholic who would trash someone for being forthright and honest in their personal convictions is a discredit to the Irish and all Catholics regardless of origin.

  • murphy0071

    @jimbryant: Please give examples with names. Likely, if there was money to be made, Rethuglicans dominated.

  • arj

    I applaud DeBlasio for taking a stand. The DonaHOE League is touting DeBlasio’s stand as an attack on Irish Catholics.

    Is it me or is DonaHOE looking more and more like Archie Bunker?

  • jimbryant

    The Rethuglicans are revolting but liberals aren’t as decent as they’re made out to be.

  • mzvky

    Huh??? I can’t believe New York City – any faction thereof – still has a problem with this. In Chicago LGBT folks have been marching openly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Veterans Day Parade, the African American Bud Billiken Day Parade et al here for years. I can’t remember the last time this was even an issue in Chicago. I’m shocked it is a factor in NYC, of all places.

  • litper

    With NYPD participating in this anti-gay event no gay can feel safe

  • mplsbill

    Way to go Mister Mayor, you make me proud by your actions, and my guess is you’ll come out of this smelling like a rose and knowing you did the right thing!

  • hephaestion

    FINALLY! At last someone is willing to stand up and do the right thing!

  • DuMaurier

    Good for the Mayor, but I must be out of touch: I thought the parade people had stopped this policy years. I’m thinking of some other city or something.

  • Redpalacebulleaglesox

    Once again, Mayor DeBlasio is reinstating traditional New York values. Exclude one and you exclude all. the AOH has never gotten the message, idiots like Donohue don’t want to get the message and now the 5th Avenue parade will be without the mayor. Good for him.

  • erasure25

    @jimbryant: So 100% of people are not pure and altruistic. Shocker… Demanding perfection as the only solution is the antithesis of progress.

  • Respect4all

    @Kieran: @jimbryant: I have no tolerance for the hypocrisy of politicians, or anyone for that matter, but shouldn’t you wait for them to commit the transgression before you condemn them for it.

  • mezzacanadese

    Bill DeBlasio should refuse to participate in the West Indian parade as well, if they exclude gays.

  • Respect4all

    @mzvky: The permit for the parade is held by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which is a private organization. The Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization brought a case against them all the way to the Supreme Court and lost. The SC ruled that as a private organization the AOH can make any rules they want, much like the Boy Scouts. It has nothing to do with NYC gov’t policy.@litper: It’s not an “anti-gay event”. It’s an Irish-American event that has an anti-gay policy. Most of the participants are there to celebrate the Irish tradition of drinking until your liver explodes. They don’t think about gay people one way or the other.

  • ttzach

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand why it’s necessary to have pro-gay signs at this parade. Will there be pro-black signs or native american? It’s just unnecessary. Why do we always have to segregate ourselves?

  • mzvky

    @Respect4all: I do understand and recall the court case. Our parade in Chicago is run by the Hibernians, too. And the presence of a contingent of happy/proud LGBT Irish people wasn’t always welcome… and I don’t mean to suggest they are always cheered by everybody. But, they are allowed to march in the parade and I don’t recall hearing about any problems. Maybe our Hibernians are more tolerant than those in NYC? I know there was a time we were not welcome – but that is no longer the case. It might have something to do with the permit process which requires all entities (civic, private, and religious) using a city thoroughfare to comply with the full breadth of the city’s Human Rights Ordinance. Funny how we can come to take things for granted – that’s why I was taken aback by this piece on DeBlasio.

  • jimbryant

    My own personal attitude to the parade is that it’s not right for the gay community to turn it into a shout-out for gay rights. By all means, march. However, it shouldn’t be a vehicle for promoting rights based on what you do in bed. It’s a religious parade, don’t forget.

  • LadywithaLamp

    I am not a religious person, in fact I see no difference between Christianity and voodoo or polytheism…I have Irish antecedents, also Native American, Swedish and French…So what is the big deal.? Boo Hoo they don’t want us in their stupid parade well I don’t want THEM in ours. Here’s a fun fact. The life of Saint Patrick contains a supposed prophecy by the druids which gives an impression of how Patrick and other Christian missionaries were seen by those hostile to them:

    Across the sea will come Adze-head, crazed in the head,
    his cloak with hole for the head, his stick bent in the head.
    He will chant impieties from a table in the front of his house;
    all his people will answer: “so be it, so be it. So now we want to be included in some Irish Catholic knuckle dragging drink fest..? I understand where people are coming from but It still seems pretty ridiculous to me.

  • Louis

    @jimbryant: You are full of shit republicans are the ones against gay rights against gay marriage against gay adoption against anything remotely having too do with being gay.

    Get your facts straight biased troll.

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  • Cam

    I love all the liars on here claiming that he is marching in the West Indian day Parade.

    Considering that that parade half a year away and hasn’t announced ANY of the names marching, funny how YOU seem to know this.

    Does anybody notice that whenever a Democrat does anything positive for gay rights there is a small group of people will can’t wait to attack?

    Log Cabin went into full attack meltdown mode when Obama said he supported gay marriage.

    We get it, you hate democrats more than you care about civil rights.

  • mzvky

    I hate to keep bringing up Chicago since I’m sure nobody cares. But, just to be clear, nobody marches in our St. Patrck’s Day Parade – or any other group’s parade – to do anything other than celebrate the heritage of the parade they are in. They just happen to be the Irish LGBT contingent celebrating their Irish roots. It is only by demonstrating that we exist throughout society in all of these contexts – and that we celebate our common bonds the same as anybody else – that we can move out of our ghetto-ized mentality and let people see that we truly are everywhere. I know there are some who think such participation is too akin to assimilation. To them I say: stay home. Live and let live.

  • balehead

    Not joining this silly protest…This is a “win the battle, lose the war” situation…..Can’t gay people just be Irish for one day???

  • Cam


    Of course in your opinion it’s the vicious gays who are the problem by not wanting bigots to discriminate.

    And of course all those rape victims deserved it for having the stupidity to walk around while owning a vagina.

  • RomanHans

    @mzvky: You got it. New York isn’t nearly as great as the PR says. Until maybe 10 years ago stores couldn’t sell alcohol on Sundays, and it “never sleeps” seems to refer only to one or two fast food joints.

  • manjoguy

    A Breitbart report said “The parade does not ban gays from participating, but does ban related banners and signs.”

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