Today Mayor Bill de Blasio marched in the St. Pats For All parade in Woodside/Sunnyside. Organized as an alternative St. Patrick’s Day Parade which welcomes LGBT groups, the parade has gained significant political attention. It’s a free spirited, whimsical cousin to the massive Manhattan parade. A featured guest at the 2014 parade was Panti Bliss, an Irish gay activist and drag Queen who has received significant attention for a recent speech on LGBT equality.
After marching, the mayor spoke with the press. Here is his full press conference, including an opening statement and questions from the press. (Questions start at about 3:15.)
Among the questions was one posed by Capital New York’s Sally Goldenberg (at about 3:40): Why didn’t he march in Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade yesterday. His answer? ”My approach has been to embrace parades that are inclusive, and that’s the standard we’re going to hold to.” (Here’s some background on de Blasio and the Rockaway parade.)
Update – Skipping Rockaway Parade:
One of the press questions, asked by Sally Goldenberg of Capital New York, was why the mayor skipped the St. Patrick’s Day parade yesterday in Rockaway. His answer was surprising.
Update #2 – A Minister, A Consul General & Panti Bliss:
The pre-parade remarks included three speakers from Ireland: Minister of State for Training & Skills Ciaran Cannon, performer and LGBT activist Panti Bliss and Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny. Many New York elected officials spoke, but the Irish speakers, particularly the two government officials, are notable for illustrating the notion that excluding LGBT groups from the Manhattan parade is not reflective of the sentiment in Ireland. We’ve included their respective full remarks, plus a bonus Mayor de Blasio appearance, in this excerpt.