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No Gays Allowed in Boston’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade

No Gays Allowed in Boston’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade

Leprechauns are said to hide their pots of gold at the end of a rainbow, but there will be no rainbows allowed at Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this Sunday. Organizers of the annual event have rejected the application of a gay group.

“Our theme is St. Patrick’s Day,” said parade organizer Philip J. Wuschke Jr. “It isn’t a sexually oriented parade. They have parades for that.”

To be clear, the group that requested entry is hardly anything like the Pride parade-like floats to which Wuschke alluded. Instead, it is a group of 20 or so out-and-proud veterans who wanted to march alongside a myriad of other veteran groups that frequent the parade.

Officially, parade organizers said that they rejected this particular group of veterans because the application “misrepresented” the number of participants that would be marching. If that seems like a bogus excuse, that notion is validated by other more bigoted comments posted by the organizers on their website:

“We will not allow anyone to express harmful or inappropriate messages… This was a decision we made for the good of this parade. Keep in mind, we are approached by all types of groups. Some of which try to destroy the integrity of not only this parade, but our faith, this town and our Country. And to those we say, ‘No!, stay home, Not in my town.’ Rest assured, we will continue to exclude anyone that tries to compromise the public’s enjoyment of this parade.”

If the intention of that message was not, in fact, to imply that homosexuals are ruining the community, then the organizers need a new copy editor.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh had hoped to solve the controversy by negotiating a deal between the gay veterans and parade organizers. Though the out veterans wanted to hold a banner that identified themselves as gay, parade organizers said they could only march if there was no reference to their sexualities whatsoever. Someone needs to tell Wuschke and associates that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is not a legitimate policy anymore.

Mayor Walsh has indicated that he will boycott the event if the gay veterans are not permitted to participate. He is not the only local politician to do so. Past parades have been essential PR opportunities for aspiring politicos, but none of the ten gubernatorial candidates will make an appearance. While US Representative Stephen Lynch has said he would also skip the parade if there was discrimination, he also noted that he held out hope that a last minute agreement could be reached between the two groups.

Samuel Adams, brewed by the Boston Beer Co., has also decided to end its sponsorship of the parade because of the organizers’ anti-gay sentiments. Ironically, it appears that the elimination of a beer sponsor has Boston residents more angry than the preceding controversy.

Considering that the parade is already well known for widespread and excessive public intoxication, it’s all the more ridiculous that parade organizers think their decision helps to preserve a “family-friendly” environment.

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208 comments

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8:36PM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

Obviously I am way behind on my mail...

The whole idea is just wrong. The men just wanted to march as veterans and should have been allowed.

To read the quote:
"Some of which try to destroy the integrity of not only this parade, but our faith, this town and our Country. And to those we say, ‘No!, stay home, Not in my town.’ Rest assured, we will continue to exclude anyone that tries to compromise the public’s enjoyment of this parade.”

I always thought Boston was one of the more progressive places that I have been to; more accepting of all peoples. They state they want to keep the integrity of the parade? Running a public event by an individuals religion/faith? I'd say that alone compromises the public's enjoyment of anything.

2:35PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Tim W., take a handful of green stars out of petty cash, my treat!

2:33PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Discrimination is discrimination. Mina X., how exactly is wanting to participate "imposing their lifestyle" on a parade?

12:08PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

let everyone participate in the parade, excluding isn't good

8:11PM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

hmm, odd

12:23PM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

donna h.
I agree with you. The parades should be for everyone, and all people should be respectful. As a gay man, I don't attend the Pride Parades in my city, (St.Louis) because I don't want to be around some of what is allowed publicly. Sometimes it looks more like a Mardi Gras Parade. But in this case it was simply a group of people who wanted to be able to march proudly as the veterans they are. I don't know what the parade you were talking about is, but the organizers should have standards for behavior established. I can tell you though that the majority of LGBT people are not like the ones you are talking about, They are simply the ones people notice. There are many more of us who you would never know were even gay unless we say so, or you see us behaving with our significant others the same way straight people do.

7:08AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

I went to a DOO Daw parade in Columbys Ohio and they have it every year and I am not sure wheather its for gays only but just about every one in the city turns out.I went one time and never went again because the gay people or I should say some of them were so downrright raunchy it was down nasty.I have no problem with them being in a parade but if they want the right to do that then thay should so respect for others and kids.Just like all things in past and future as the saying goes Give thhem a inch and they will take a mile.I have a nice and a nephew that are gay.The one is married and we the whole family give her support but then again when I see some of the comments that come out of the partners mouth it makes me ill.
I was brought up with one way of thinnking and aaaaas the years passed I have tried to adjust but my belieffe from a child is hard to break.I try to love all people and not to judge because one day we will all have to meet our maker.

5:50AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

Ken Y.
The point is a group of people who proudly served their country is being denied the right to be represented in a parade because they are gay. You are the one trivializing the story and issue. It is time that people in this country wake up and realize that until we embrues the notion of Freedom for All, we can't expect much from the rest of the world.

3:33AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

this is an absurd article with no plot and no real issue
get over the trivialities

5:39PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

Straight people are in your face every day. Watch any large parade and see how often you see a couple on a float or in the back seat of a convertible arms around each other and waving at the crowd. These Veterans just want to be acknowledged as the patriots that they are even though they aren't afforded the same rights as those they fought for.

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