Originally published on Advocate.com March 17 2004 1:00 AM ET
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg says it's "unfortunate" that gays and lesbians will be barred once again from marching in Thursday's St. Patrick's Day parade--but he'll still be there, according to the Daily News. "My preference would be that the parade organizers invite everybody, but they have chosen not to," Bloomberg said. "So that is unfortunate, but I will march. This is part of New York, and the mayor has a responsibility."
Bloomberg will march with police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers. And he said all groups will be invited to his St. Patrick's Day breakfast at Gracie Mansion. Gay activists said his presence in the parade sends the wrong message. "The mayor marches in the parade, bringing the stamp of city approval to bigotry," said Emmaia Gelman of Irish Queers. Gelman said the group will be holding its own celebration with readings and music along the parade route. No civil disobedience is planned.