NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has joined the gay-friendly St. Pat’s For All Parade in Queens, saying the parade celebrates inclusion.
De Blasio spoke Sunday after arriving at the parade. He says the parade started a positive change and called it important “to set the right tone, to set the right path” for everyone.
De Blasio has said he will skip the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s parade in Manhattan later this month because parade organizers prohibit participants from carrying signs or banners identifying themselves as gay.
“We’re just trying to show that it takes everyone to make this city a better place,” one participant told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.
De Blasio also marched in the Queens parade when he was a public advocate. His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, staunchly supported gay rights but still marched in the traditional parade for 12 years.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton did not appear at the parade in Queens on Sunday but does plan to march in the Manhattan parade, a decision that the mayor said he respects, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
“I absolutely respect his decision. I say this is something where we have to respect everyone’s individuality and their right to make their own decision,” De Blasio said.
The Catholic League denounced the mayor in what they called a bid to push the gay agenda.
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