NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio calls a report that he likely will boycott this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade “premature.”

Organizers of the Manhattan parade announced in September that they are ending a ban and allowing a gay group to march under its own banner for the first time.

Last year, de Blasio became the first mayor in decades to skip the parade over the ban on participants carrying gay-pride signs.

The City Council also declined to have any official presence at the event, and beer makers Guinness and Heineken pulled their sponsorships.

While de Blasio has said ending the ban on anti-gay groups is a step in the right direction, he has held off on making any declaration about whether he will march in this year’s parade.

Some gay rights activists have called the parade’s invitation to OUT@NBCUniversal — a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group at the company that broadcasts the parade — a publicity stunt aimed at bringing back its sponsors.

“We’re evaluating the new situation,” de Blasio told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb, on Wednesday. “I have not heard the details yet of what the new plan is. I only was aware of the reports that came out weeks and weeks ago about a change in the approach. We need to see the details of that.”

De Blasio promised to keep an open mind, but “it’s very, very important to me that all events like that be inclusive,” he said.

The Catholic League announced in September it won’t participate in the parade because no pro-life groups were chosen to march.

Comments

Leave a Reply