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De Blasio Says He Won't March In Any Parade That 'Excludes' LGBT Community

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After marching in the Brooklyn Pride Parade earlier this weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he and his wife, Chirlane McCray, will not march in any parades that "exclude" the LGBT community.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was a grand marshal Saturday evening for the Twilight Pride Parade, which was held along Fifth Avenue from Lincoln Place to 9th Street in Park Slope. After marching, he made his announcement.

"You will see Chirlane at this parade, and me at this parade, but you will not see us at a parade that excludes members of the LGBT community," de Blasio said.

Back in March, <a title="NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade Marches Up Fifth Avenue Amid Controversy" de Blasio became the first mayor in 20 years to pass on participating in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The mayor boycotted the parade because organizers said marchers were not allowed to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Also missing from the March parade were members of the City council and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who got the state to pass same-sex marriage, but hasn't marched in years, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported at the time.

"I simply disagree with the organizers of that parade, with the exclusion of some people in this city," de Blasio said in February.

Parade organizer John Dunleavy emphasized that LGBT people and groups were "more than welcome" to march, but not under their own banners.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton did march with a contingent of uniformed officers. Gay activists protesting the exclusion of official LGBT groups said they didn't think the NYPD and others should participate in uniform.

Guinness beer also abruptly dropped its sponsorship of the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday over the controversy, saying the company "has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all."

At the Brooklyn Pride Parade, the mayor was one of four grand marshals. Also serving in the positions were Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-38th), who de Blasio noted in a published report is the first openly gay City Council member representing Brooklyn.

The 2014 Pride March in Manhattan is scheduled for Sunday, June 29. It will step off at noon that day at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, and end at Christopher and Greenwich streets in the West Village.

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