Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 12:03 pm est

NYU Reacts: De Blasio boycotts St. Pat’s parade

Posted on February 11, 2014 | by Ann Schmidt


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Feb. 5 he will not be marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the parade organizers will not allow participants to display LGBTQ pride. De Blasio is the first mayor in 20 years not to walk in the parade.

LS sophomore Patricia Antonakos said everyone should have the right to show pride in who they are.

“The mayor is simply being consistent in his support of everyone’s right to be who they are without the discrimination from a community that, for the most part, has come so far in awarding everyone the same rights,” Antonakos said.

LS sophomore Aleah Halverson said de Blasio’s decision not to march is flawed because the holiday originated from religion rather than Irish heritage.

“It was supposed to be a Catholic holiday for a saint,” Halverson said. “So it’s kind of like saying he wouldn’t take part in an Easter parade because it’s all about spring.”

Mayor David Dinkins boycotted the parade in 1993 after a court ruling that allowed sponsors to exclude Irish Americans who were openly gay, while former mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg marched in the parade more recently.

Two LGBTQ groups were denied permission to participate in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2012. The groups took part in an alternative event called the St. Patrick’s Peace Parade, taking place an hour after the traditional parade and following the same route.

Despite recognizing the Catholic Church’s stance, Halverson said she would like to see a more accepting community.

“It is a shame that they aren’t letting people display their political opinions, especially since the Catholic Church is becoming more and more supportive of gay rights even though they haven’t come out as accepting them,” she said.

When Pope Francis was ordained, he made headlines when he said the church had focused too much on social issues instead of ministering to the impoverished.

Gallatin freshman Michael Abraham said until America’s celebration of diversity is open to every person, it is not a true celebration.

“And it is for that reason that I applaud de Blasio and I sincerely hope that other leaders of this city understand his decision is on the side of empowerment, not division,” Abraham said.

CAS sophomore Mike Saint-Antoine said the organizers have a legal right to include or exclude anyone.

“De Blasio is right to boycott the event, and the exclusion of LGBTQ groups from marching is a sign that the New York City Catholic League is severely out of touch with American Catholics and doesn’t understand Pope Francis’ message of inclusion or the teachings of Jesus,” Saint-Antoine said.

Abraham said the LGBTQ community is unique in fighting for equality by using public celebration as a way to change the current social structure.

“Given that, de Blasio’s decision not to attend a parade in which LGBTQ members cannot claim their identities in full view of society is all the more powerful,” Abraham said.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 11 print edition. Ann Schmidt is a news editor. Email her at 


  • John Francis Fox

    I don’t think it’s a good idea for Mayor de Blasio to boycott the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Although the leaders of the parade made a big mistake when they said that gay and transgendered people shouldn’t be allowed to march openly, the parade should be celebrating the achievements and heritage of the Irish people. It shouldn’t be about the parade leaders making an unfortunate decision.

profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.