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04/19/2007


Anti-Gay Activist Scott Lively Marches In Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade

Yesterday anti-gay activist and long-shot gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively — a man currently on trial for crimes against humanity for his role in helping pass Uganda’s odious “Kill the Gays” law — marched in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Scott_livelyHe also released a press statement praising the parade’s organizers for “keeping the parade a family-friendly event” by refusing the participation of LGBT Irish groups.

Part of Lively’s statement read:

“The LGBT bullies, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, are giving the St. Paddy’s Day Parade organizers a hard time for keeping the parade a family-friendly event, but they are standing strong for family values and not bowing to intimidation…

The media is predictably crying ’discrimination,’ but thank God the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the parade organizers have the constitutional right to exclude anyone they please.”

Boston brewer Sam Adams pulled its sponsorship from the march over its LGBT-exclusion.

Little did Lively know that the parade had a secretly gay float in it.


Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade Had a Stealth Gay Float with Rainbow Cannons

Diversity
(instagram elizabeth kateri)

The Boston Globe reports on a group from the Lower End:

The group wore scally caps and rainbow-colored bead necklaces. Some wore ties; others had donned jeans and sweaters. As they marched up Broadway, cheers continued. A building boom in the neighborhood has forged strong bonds between long-time South Boston residents and newcomers, some of whom are gay. In their seven years in the neighborhood, Foster and his husband, Steve Martin, the two men spearheading the neighborhood float, had become active in the St. Vincent’s Lower End Neighborhood Association.

Thought MassEquality was denied permission to march in the parade, this group went stealth:

The float with the rainbow cannon fire was pulled by a pickup truck with a banner that read, “Celebrate the diversity of Boston.” But there was nothing to indicate that the group consisted largely of gay marchers.

In its parade application, the contingent described its entry as a “diversity float” that would welcome people of all races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. They had approval from parade organizers to wear scarves with a variety of colors and symbols, including an equal sign for gay rights.

But none of the marchers wore scarves.

“You’ve got 25 gay guys marching,” Foster said. “Any of them could have chosen to wear a scarf to make a statement. None of them did.”

Standing at the edge of the parade on Broadway, Britta Hiester waved a rainbow flag and cheered loudly as the float passed. Hiester lives and a block away and wanted to show support for the float and the message of diversity.

“I know that many of my neighbors are being forced to speak in a coded way about their identity,” Hiester said, flapping the rainbow flag in the crisp air. “I brought this because I could.”

More here.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declined to march in the parade because of the official exclusion of gay groups. It also lost the sponsorship of Sam Adams beer.


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Won't March in St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Gay Exclusion

Mayor Marty Walsh announced this morning that he will not participate in the South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade over its exclusion of gay groups:

2_walshThe St. Patrick's Day parade was born out of the celebration of Evacuation Day, a day set aside to recognize and honor our military and those brave Americans who have banded together for the sake of freedom. And so much of our Irish history has been shaped by the fight against oppression.

I'm disappointed that this year, I will be unable to participate in the parade. As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city. Unfortunately, this year, the parties were not able to come to an understanding that would have made that possible.

I look forward to participating in this morning's breakfast with my friend Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and I plan to spend the afternoon with my family. On behalf of my entire staff, we wish the entire city a happy Saint Patrick's Day.

As we reported earlier, Sam Adams beer has also pulled its sponsorship of the parade.


Sam Adams Beer Pulls Out of Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade Over Refusal of Gay Groups

Samadams

Samuel Adams beer has pulled out as a sponsor of the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade over its refusal to allow gays to march in the parade, according to a statement from the Boston Beer Company:

"We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year.  We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.

We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade.  But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.  

We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade.  We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition."

 MassEquality had been negotiating with parade organizers to march in the parade and had at one point been offered an agreement that they could march so long as they did not identify as a gay group.

Negotiations went downhill from there and a few days ago the group received what it says was a "hostile" rejection from parade organizers.


Gay Group Receives 'Hostile' Rejection From St. Patrick's Day Parade Organizers: VIDEO

MassEquality

Gay organizations have a troubled history with the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and are routinely banned from marching in several cities, Boston in particular. This year it appeared that progress, slight as it was, was being made as the gay rights group MassEquality was invited to march, provided none of the members wore t-shirts or held signs that included the word "gay" or referenced their orientation.

That millimeter forward just took a big step back. Parade organizers have now rescinded the invitation after the parade's sponsor, the Allied War Veterans Council, claimed that MassEquality lied on its application and attempted to enter the parade under false pretenses, saying that it wasn't a legitimate veteran's group.

At a closed door City Hall meeting last night it was made clear to us that the LGBT Veterans for Equality do not have 20 United States Veterans who wish to march. Rather, they presented only one supposed Veteran (sic) and a group of others carrying rainbow flags. When asked about a Color Guard, their loan (sic) Veteran replied that he wasn’t sure he could supply any more Veterans willing to march.

It is our belief that the application submitted to us by LGBT Veterans for Equality was a ploy by them to enter this parade under false pretenses and is hereby denied. It is our intention to keep this parade a family friendly event. We will not allow any group to damage the Integrity (sic) of the historic event or our reputation as a safe and fun filled day for all.

MassEquality wanted gay veterans to be able to march openly and proudly, and were shocked by the hostile rejection from the parade organizers.

“We know from experience that change comes through conversation and dialogue. We were encouraged to have an historic opportunity to meet face-to-face with Parade organizers to discuss a contingent involving LGBT veterans, and we did so with open hearts and open minds. We regret that the Parade organizers shut down conversation before an agreement could be finalized,” MassEquality executive director Kara Coredini said in a press release.

Added Coredini: “We were under the impression that negotiations were positive and ongoing, and we were surprised by the abrupt and hostile tone of the Parade organizers’ rejection.”

You can see CBS Boston's coverage of the story (autoplay) AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Group Receives 'Hostile' Rejection From St. Patrick's Day Parade Organizers: VIDEO" »


Gay Group Invited to South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, But Can't Identify as Gay: VIDEO

2_walsh

In a deal brokered by Mayor Martin Walsh, organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade have invited MassEquality, an LGBT rights group, to march in this year's parade , with one condition, the Boston Globe reports:

MassequalityThe group, MassEquality, could not wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation.

The paper adds:

In an interview Friday night, Walsh hailed the MassEquality invitation as a major breakthrough in a city that has become increasingly diverse in recent decades. He minimized the significance of the rule barring references to sexual orientation and said he would meet next week with parade organizers and MassEquality to work out details about signs and T-shirts.

“This is probably the biggest step in 20 years,” Walsh said. “I’m really encouraged. We’re going to talk about how we can make this happen, how we can make this a reality.”

The parade is scheduled for March 16. The groups are hopeful they can come to an agreement on signage and T-shirts.

Watch Walsh give an interview on Thursday about his refusal to march in the parade unless gay groups are included, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Group Invited to South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, But Can't Identify as Gay: VIDEO" »


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