New York Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday joined a pro-gay St Patrick’s Day march, due to the state’s main parade banning gay groups.

De Blasio had previously said that he would boycott the main St Patrick’s Day parade, which will be held on March 17, unless they remove the ban on gay groups.

The mayor joined the ‘St. Pat’s for All’ parade through Queens, commenting in his speech: “This is a parade that celebrates inclusion. That is what the city is about. That is what has made this city strong.”

He is the first mayor in the state in 20 years to refuse to take part in the main parade, which is estimated to attract over a million spectators annually.

De Blasio shared the stage at the event with Irish drag queen Panti, who came to attention last month after a heartwarming speech she made about gay oppression went viral.

She tweeted a picture of herself and the mayor at the parade, joking: “Mr and Mrs Mayor De Blasio”.

The mayor of Boston had threatened to boycott his state’s St Patrick’s Day parade if they keep a ban on gay groups, but it has since been announced they will allow pro-gay marchers.