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MassEquality: We're disappointed by St. Patrick's Day parade organizers

LGBT advocacy group MassEquality said it was disappointed at the "hostile tone" struck by South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade organizers.

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

The statewide LGBT advocacy group that had been working with city officials and organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade said they were disappointed by the decision not to allow gay groups to march openly.

The statement released Wednesday by MassEquality comes after days of meetings and negotiations meant to work toward an agreement that would allow gay participants to march openly. Mayor Marty Walsh, who has been working to broker a deal, has said he will only march in an "inclusive" parade.

MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini said in the statement that the group was encouraged to have "an historic opportunity" to meet face-to-face with parade organizers to discuss involving LGBT veterans in the parade.

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"We are extremely disappointed with the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council’s decision [Tuesday] to continue their long history of banning LGBT people from marching openly in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade," Coredini said in the statement. "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."

Parade organizers issued a statement this week saying that they were misled by MassEquality during the application process and decided to deny their application to march.

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

At issue was the ban on signs and other displays that would reference the word "gay" or sexual orientation.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
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