New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to skip St. Patrick's Day Parade over gay rights

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio attends a press conference on January 30, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York City. 
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NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he won’t be marching in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

De Blasio says he won’t partake in the parade along Fifth Avenue because of organizers’ refusal to allow participants to carry gay-pride signs.

“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,” he said, according CBS New York.

Former mayor Michael Bloomberg always marched. De Blasio also did not march while public advocate.

Its organizers say gay people are welcome to march, but they say signs celebrating being gay would detract from the parade’s focus on honoring Irish heritage.

The mayor says he won’t heed activists’ call to ban city workers from marching while wearing their uniforms.

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

The parade is a tradition that predates the city itself. Organizers predict more than 1 million people will attend on March 17.