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Gay Veterans: St. Patrick's Day Parade Boots Them in Boston

Image: Gay Veterans: St. Patrick's Day Parade Boots Them in Boston

In this March 20, 2016, file photo, members of OUTVETS, a group of gay military veterans, march in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston's South Boston neighborhood. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

By    |   Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 08:24 AM

A gay veterans group was denied Tuesday from marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston next week, sparking a backlash among politicians and others.

The Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston voted 9-4 to ban OUTVETS from the March 19 parade, despite the fact that the same group had marched in the parade the previous two years, the Boston Globe reported.

Parade organizer Tim Duross told the Boston Herald that after a meeting with OUTVETS representatives Wednesday, the group's ban was not "official" and the veterans council will reopen discussion.

"I would like to see everyone in the parade," Duross told the Herald, claiming that Tuesday's vote was based on parade rules and not discrimination.

Duross said, according to the Herald, that the parade bars "portrayal of sexuality" and an issue centered around the inclusion of a rainbow flag in the OUTVETS' logo.

"I'm going to go back to the council and see if we can resolve something," Duross told the Herald. "I need to be sure that everyone is on the same page. If everyone abides by our rules and they're not outlandish, I think we can all have a great parade."

The council will hold an emergency session Friday to reconsider the issue, OUTVETS director Bryan Bishop told the Boston Globe.

The veterans council backlash was swift, with Army veteran Dan Magoon resigning as the parade marshal, the Boston Globe reported. Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, two Congressmen, and other politicians vowed to boycott the parade unless council reversed its decision.

"It's because we're an LGBT organization," Bishop told the Globe. "No matter what they say, they are discriminating against veterans. End of story."

Walsh issued a statement expressing his opposition to the parade organizers rejecting OUTVETS.

"I will not tolerate discrimination in our city of any form," Walsh wrote in his statement. "We are one Boston, which means we are a fully inclusive city. I will not be marching in the parade unless this is resolved. Anyone who values what our city stands for should do the same."

The Globe reported that sponsors have started to respond. Supermarket chain Stop & Shop backed away from the parade, and Anheuser-Busch and the Boston Scally Co. are reevaluating their positions in the event as well.

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A gay veterans group was denied Tuesday from marching in the St. Patrick s Day Parade in South Boston next week, sparking a backlash among politicians and others.
gay, veterans, st. patricks, parade, boston
387
2017-24-09
Thursday, 09 Mar 2017 08:24 AM
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