IrishCentral’s sister publication The Irish Voice reported on Wednesday that de Blasio is unlikely to march in the 2015 parade given that Irish LGBT groups are still excluded.
However, speaking to WCBS news on Thursday, de Blasio called the conclusion that he would not be marching “premature.”
Last year, during his first St. Patrick’s Day in office, de Blasio became the first New York City mayor in many years to boycott the parade, because of the committee’s long-standing refusal to allow any Irish LGBT groups to march as their own contingent.
In September, the parade committee announced that it would allow a gay group to march for the first time in the 2015 parade. But the many Irish advocacy groups who have campaigned for years have expressed disappointment that the group selected to march, OUT@NBCUniversal, is affiliated with the station that broadcasts the parade and does not have any ties to the Irish community in New York.
“We’re evaluating the new situation,” de Blasio told reporters. “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.”
Though he said he was keeping an open mind, the mayor noted, “it’s very, very important to me that all events like that be inclusive.”
However, de Blasio faces an awakward dilemna with parade Grand Marshal Cardinal Timothy Dolan, with whom the mayor has been trying to forge a close relationship. In addition, the parade is heavily populated by cops and firefighters who also have had bitter disagreements with the mayor recently. He has made better relations with them a priority.
Earlier this week, City Council Member Daniel Dromm of Queens told the Irish Voice that a majority of council members, including Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, will not take part in the parade. The council formally boycotted and withdrew its banner from last year’s march in protest, and plans on doing the same for 2015, Dromm confirmed.