New York Major Bill de Blasio has announced he will end his two-year boycott of the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade following the overturning of a ban on LGBT groups.
Mayor De Blasio announced yesterday that he would take part in the parade for the first time, in Manhattan on March 17. He skipped the parade in 2014 when no LGBT groups were permitted and also refused to attend in 2015 when a small group of gay marchers – members of Out[at]NBCUniversal – was included.
“The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a New York City tradition, but for years, Irish LGBT New Yorkers could not show their pride,” Mr. de Blasio told The Associated Press.
“Finally, they can celebrate their heritage by marching in a parade that now represents progress and equality.”
Brendan Fay, Head of the Lavender and Green Alliance – which battled for 25 years to end the ban on LGBT groups marching in the parade – attributed the overturning of the ban in part to de Blasio’s boycott. De Blasio’s was not the only high-profile boycotting; in 2014 Guinness pulled their sponsorship of the event in protest at the lack of LGBT inclusion, before re-sponsoring the parade in 2015.
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