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Banned Vets Invite Gays to March in Parade

Banned Vets Invite Gays to March in Parade

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Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will have company this year, as banned vets and gays plan to march in a separate parade an hour behind.

When a group calling themselves Veterans for Peace applied for a spot in this Sunday's official parade, they were surprised to find their request denied. "When I asked why they didn't grant our application, they say they did not want to have the word peace associated with the word vets," said Pat Scanlon of Veterans for Peace. "I'm a Vietnam vet. I think that's an outrageous statement."

The group then approached the city, asking for a separate parade permit. Their request was granted, as long as their parade began an hour later and a mile behind the official one. Wanting to share their victory, they reached out to gay and lesbian groups, who were banned from the parade 16 years ago.

"You can march with us," Scanlon said.

Ann Coleman of LGBT group Join the Impact was pleased with the gesture. "For somebody working for equal rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, it's showing how the message of equality and peace has a resonance in 2011."

Join the Impact Massachusetts and other groups will join Veterans for Peace in the march, which they're calling the St. Patrick's Peace Parade.

Read the full story here.

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