Boston Mayor urges boycott of St. Patrick’s Day parade after gay group banned from marching
We are in 2017, right?
Mayor of Boston Marty Walsh has encouraged a boycott of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city after OutVets, a group of gay and transgender military veterans, were banned from marching in it.
In a statement on Wednesday, Walsh said: “I will not tolerate discrimination in our city of any form. 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.”
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) March 8, 2017
According to the New York Times, a vote was taken by the parade organisers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, on Tuesday night, with a nine to four margin in favour of excluding Outvets from the parade.
Founder of Outvets, Bryan Bishop, said he was told by organisers that a small rainbow patch that has been a part of Outvets logo since 2014 was found to be in violation of a code of conduct which “will not allow the advertisement or display of one’s sexual orientation as a topic that should in any way be depicted as a theme of our parade”.
Outvets marched in the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2015 and 2016 without controversy despite wearing the logo found to be in violation of the code of conduct.
As a result of the decision, Dan Magoon, the executive director of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, resigned as the parade’s chief marshal while Governor Charlie Baker has also announced his intention to skip the parade.
Bryan Bishop said he was told that Outvets would only be allowed march in the parade if they removed the rainbow patch from their logo or did not display it during the parade, adding that organisers had complained that allowing OutVets to march had cost them support from the Roman Catholic Church.