It's St. Patrick's Day, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is skipping the city’s traditional St Paddy's day parade.
The issue? March participants aren't allowed to carry gay pride signs. The move by de Blasio, the first NYC mayor in decades to skip the parade, comes a day after Boston's new mayor, Marty Walsh, decided to sit out his city's St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday for the same reason.
In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford has his own issues with parades. Since becoming mayor, Ford has refused to attend the annual pride parade.
Up until a month ago, Ford said that scheduled vacations to his family cottage always got in the way, so he couldn't possibly attend pride events in Canada's largest city.
Ford dropped that pretence in February at the first candidates' forum of the 2014 mayoral campaign, when he was asked about the upcoming World Pride festival in Toronto in June.
"I'm not going to go to the Pride parade," Ford said. "I've never gone to a Pride parade, so I'm not going to change the way I am."
Translation: I'm homophobic, and I can't possibly change that about myself.
But, just to be clear, Ford wants to set the record straight: "I'm not homophobic. I will go to anyone's house, anyone's place to help them out," Ford said during a recent "Ford Nation" YouTube episode. (But he won't go to the city's gay pride parade. Got it?)