MassEquality meets with South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers

boston south boston st. patrick's day parade
The South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Credit: Metro file photo

The leader of a statewide LGBT group said she met with organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade Sunday night, but that the meeting failed to end in an agreement that would allow gay participants to march openly.

The Sunday night meeting was the latest in a string of efforts by Mayor Marty Walsh to allow LGBT participants to march in the parade openly.

MassEquality said it applied, like it has in years past, to march in the South Boston parade, and were denied this year. But at Walsh’s urging, a meeting took place Sunday night with the group, Rep. Stephen Lynch and the parade’s organizer.

“We made it clear to the Parade organizers that we would only march if LGBT people are able to march openly and honestly,” MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini said in a statement on Monday. “No agreement was reached, but the conversation is ongoing.”

At issue is that parade organizers are willing to allow groups to march, but to do so without any signs or displays referencing gay advocacy or sexual orientation. “We have stipulations and that’s all we ask for them to go by,” Philip Wuschke Jr., the parade organizer, said Sunday, adding that the parade has been inclusive and does include gay participants.

Walsh has said he will only march in an “inclusive” parade. Former Mayor Thomas Menino did not march in the parade.

The Allied War Veterans Council, which puts on the parade, won a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed the private group to exclude gay, lesbian and other groups from the parade.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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