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April 15, 2014

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NYC Council steps away from St. Patrick’s Parade

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 12:56 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — The speaker of the New York City Council says it won't have an official presence at this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade because of rules that prevent gay and lesbian groups from identifying themselves while marching.

The announcement was made Tuesday. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says the legislative body is "committed to celebrating and respecting" diversity.

Parade organizers don't allow participants to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT. An email to the parade's executive secretary seeking comment was not answered.

Mark-Viverito says individual councilmembers can take part if they want to.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that he wouldn't march in the parade. He'll be the first mayor in decades to not take part in the annual march on Fifth Avenue.