Snow didn’t stop Mayor de Blasio from marching through Sunnyside on Sunday during the traditionally gay-friendly St. Pat’s for All parade.
“Here’s an example of a parade that’s inclusive of all and celebrates Irish heritage in a way that everyone can be a part of,” said de Blasio, who wore a green Department of Sanitation jacket to the parade down Skillman Avenue in the spirit of the day and the snow clearing that followed.
The mayor, who didn’t march in the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade last year because of its former policy barring gays, said he isn’t planning to participate this year either. He said concessions made this year to allow gays to participate are too limited. The Fifth Avenue parade will be held on March 17.
“I’m not ready to commit to marching because all we’ve heard is that one delegation related to NBC will be allowed to have members of the LGBT community in it,” he told reporters at the Sunnyside parade. “A lot of people feel, I think rightfully, that that is too small a change to merit a lot of us participating who have wanted to see an inclusive parade.”
De Blasio is the first mayor to have skipped the Fifth Avenue parade since former Mayor David Dinkins did so two decades ago, also in protest for excluding marchers carrying any displays of gay pride.
But the mayor said he would be marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Rockaways. He skipped it last year, mistakenly believing that it was exclusionary.
“That was an error on our part; it is inclusive,” de Blasio said yesterday. “There was a misunderstanding.”
Rockaway residents were offended last year when the mayor skipped their St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year’s parade in the Rockaways will be held on March 7. Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy will be the grand marshal.