Mayor, Sam Adams Stand With Gay Vets Banned From Boston’s St. Patty’s Parade


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.

Hear, hear.

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  • SteveDenver

    Ahhhh St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, where getting drunk by 10am, then getting in a fight and throwing up all over yourself by noon is just fine, bring the kids! But gays — especially gay vets — are off the chart. If the city of Boston contributes ANYTHING — including reduced permit fees, street cleanup, cops in uniform (even volunteer, they’re still city employees), and traffic control — they should stop until the celebration is unbiased. In many cities organizers have been told to shove their bias or not have the parade.

  • magicfeather

    This is not the first time this has happened. I used to live in Boston and we applied to have a float in the parade and were denied. a law suite was filed and they cancelled the entire parade rather than let us in.

  • magicfeather

    The Stonewall parade was not the first gay parade, two years before the riots, we marched in P-Town on the 4th of july. we applied to be part of their parade AND WERE DENIED.We decided to march anyhow and after their parade made it’s way down the narrow streets, we followed convinced we would be arrested. we were not, there were 5 of us across the front of the parade with a big banner. behind us were about 200 other people and thousands lining the street cheering in support. we didn’t know tlill later that their small jail only held 5 people so they decided they better give us a police escort since they didn’t have any place to put us. I still have the pictures some where ofall places in the closit.

  • Cam

    Money talks. Sam Adams figures that in todays country appealing to old bigots was less profitable than risking a boycott by gays and friends.

  • NCSilverBear

    How stupid are the Boston Parade organizers. Not only are they homophobic beyond understanding, wouldn’t this discrimination be illegal considering gays are now a legal part of our Armed Forces?

  • Stache1

    @Cam: Sam Adams is on the pricier side of beers and out of allot of bigots affordability. They know their market.

Comments are closed.