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De Blasio won't be in NYC St. Patrick's Day parade

By By JONATHAN LEMIRE

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says he won't be marching in the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parade.

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

The new mayor's predecessor, 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 parade is a tradition that predates the city itself. Organizers predict more than 1 million people will attend on March 17.

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

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