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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer  

New York City mayor to protest St. Patty’s Day march

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is going against the grain yet again.

The newly elected mayor says that he will not take part in this year’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers won’t allow participants to carry gay pride signs, CBS New York reports.

Parade organizers said that gay rights activists can participate in the parade, but signage is forbidden since it detracts from the event’s focus on Irish heritage.

“I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish Americans, but I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city,” said de Blasio.

Michael Bloomberg, de Blasio’s predecessor, marched in the St. Patrick’s Day event during his tenure, despite calls from gay rights groups for a mayoral boycott.

In a related decision, de Blasio said he would not heed demands from gay rights groups who demanded that uniformed city employees be barred from participating in the parade.

“I respect the right of our city workers to march in uniform, period,” de Blasio said.

Organizers of the parade, which ventures down 5th Avenue, say that the event is “our country’s oldest and proudest Irish tradition.” It was first held in 1762.

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