UPDATE: Organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade reversed course on March 10, and said they would allow a group of gay veterans to march in this year’s parade.
The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council announced on the parade’s Twitter account that it had signed an “acceptance letter” that would clear the way for OutVets to participate.
“I will not tolerate discrimination in our city of any form,” Marty Walsh said in a statement after OutVets, a group of gay veterans, was denied the opportunity to participate this year. “We are one Boston, which means we are a fully inclusive city.”
OutVets, which marched the past two years in the parade, announced its application had been rejected by the South Boston Allied War Council, which organizes the 116-year-old event.
The council, citing conflict with the Catholic Church, has banned OutVets and other LGBT groups in years past. In 1995, it even defended and won its right to exclude them in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision.
“We just received word from them South Boston Allied War Veterans that OUTVETS has been denied entry into the 2017 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” the group stated on Facebook.
“The Council did not give a clear reason, but, given the tenor of the Council’s deliberations, one can assume it’s because we are LGBTQ. This is a sad day for the LGBTQ community and for veterans of all backgrounds,” the group added.
The South Boston Allied War Council has yet to comment, so it has yet to be determined if the current debates over so-called “religious freedom,” which has been supported by the Trump administration, played a hand in the decision.
via The Advocate