TIME Gay Rights

Boston Mayor Wants St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Accept Gay Groups

Martin Walsh says he won't march in the parade if organizers don't accept a gay veterans group

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Wednesday he will boycott his city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade next month unless it agrees to stop excluding gay and lesbian groups from its procession.

Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, told the Boston Globe that he is trying to broker a deal with organizers of the March 16 parade to allow a gay veterans group to participate. A boycott would follow the lead of former Mayor Thomas Menino, who refused to march while in office since 1995. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said earlier this month that he wouldn’t join in his city’s parade.

Boston parade organizers say they will not change their policy, pointing to a unanimous 1995 Supreme Court decision that gave the parade the right to exclude gay and lesbian groups. Parade organizer Philip J. Wuschke said the parade does not exclude individual gay or lesbian people who march with other groups.

[Boston Globe]

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