LGBT Veterans for Equality, an affiliate of gay rights advocacy group MassEquality, applied to be a contingent in Boston’s massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and organizers responded by telling the group they couldn’t carry banners or signs identifying themselves as gay.
Which to gay veterans who want to proudly express themselves while honoring their service and sacrifices, sort of defeats the purpose.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he won’t march unless gays are allowed — a pretty lovely endorsement considering how seriously Beantown treats the day of all things Irish. Sam Adams won’t show up either, and you know there will be a few (thousand) beers purchased on Sunday.
The parade’s organizers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, won’t budge, even after Mayor Walsh stepped in to personally try and mediate a deal. They’re also claiming they’ve been duped by the would-be gay marchers, citing that the group doesn’t belong to an “officially recognized” veterans organization.
It’s causing quite a stir in the Boston community. It was only after gay video bar Club Cafe made a big show of boycotting Sam Adams beer for sponsoring the parade that the brewery finally buckled and pulled out. They must have realized gays drink even more beer than the Irish.
In a letter to the Allied War Veterans Council, the LGBT Veterans wrote:
We sought only to march with integrity behind the colors that represent our multi-faceted identities as veterans, LGBT people and, for some of us, as Irish-Americans. But we fought too long and too hard to be able to serve our country openly to retreat back into the closet in order to march in a parade. As we have stood shoulder to shoulder, in war and in peace, we would stand together again marching as a symbol of the freedom that we offered our lives for, a freedom for all people, of all colors, creeds, origins, sexual orientations and gender identities.