Mayor Walsh will boycott St. Patrick’s Day parade if gay groups can’t participate

boston marty walsh mayor walsh city hall office
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh follows in the footsteps of New York’s mayor, who has already declined to participate in the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says that if gay groups aren’t allowed to participate, he will boycott this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In an appearance on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday, Walsh said that a gay veterans group, sponsored by Mass Equality, plans to submit an application for participation this year.

“I think the parade organizers are waiting for the application and, hopefully, they’ll accept the application and I’ll keep my commitment and I’ll be able to march in the parade,” the mayor said in the interview. “It does come up every year and I think it’s time that all parades here in Boston be inclusive.  I think it’s kind of bizarre that we’re having this discussion in 2014.”

John “Wacko’’ Hurley, one of the organizers behind the annual festivities, won a unanimous 1995 Supreme Court victory sanctioning his right to exclude gay and lesbian groups. Hurley told the Boston Globe that despite talks this week with Walsh, there will be no change in the parade’s restrictions.

“No, definitely not,” Hurley told the Globe. “Not when you have a 9-to-nothing decision in the Supreme Court of the United States. [Walsh is] not in a position to overturn that.”

Previous Boston Mayor Thomas Menino refused to march in the parade due to its restrictions on gay participants. Walsh participated last year, but as a state representative.

Sponsored by the Allied War Veteran’s Council, the South Boston St. Patrick’s Parade is listed as the second largest parade in the country, and draws a crowd of around one million spectators.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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