New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a clear message following the Brooklyn Pride Parade on Saturday. The mayor vowed that neither he nor his wife, Chirlane McCray, will participate in any future parades in the city that excludes members of the LGBT community. It was a promise he first made back in March when he boycotted the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
De Blasio, who was one of four grand marshals leading the parade, marched proudly through the streets of Brooklyn to cheers and applause. Following the parade he said, “When it comes to the question of parades, you will see Chirlane at this parade or me at this parade, but you will not see us at a parade that excludes members of the LGBT community. That is not what we do in New York City.”
By boycotting such parades, de Blasio feels he is sending a clear message of equality and inclusion in one of the most diverse cities in the America. His declaration in March, which made him the first mayor in 20 years to boycott the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, solidified his support for the LGBT community in New York City. That support was even more visable as he and his wife led a group of city politicians down Fifth Avenue in Park Slope.
The mayor also took time to applaud openly gay councilman Carlos Menchaca, who made history with his nomination. Menchaca was also named a grand marshal, along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Public Advocate Letitia James. The Twilight Pride Parade was the highlight of Brooklyn Pride Week and represents a parade that has grown immensely over the past 18 years and that includes seeing a mayor make the kind of statement de Blasio is making.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is sending a similar message of inclusion. Back in March he also boycotted Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade because LGBT groups were excluded. Walsh was also a grand marshal at the 44th annual Boston Pride Parade where he led approximately 25,000 marchers in a celebration of individuality.