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MassEquality Negotiates Over St. Pat's Parade

MassEquality Negotiates Over St. Pat's Parade


Boston's venerable St. Patrick's Day Parade is only two weeks away, but it's not yet clear whether Massachusetts's most prominent LGBT group will be marching.

Talks about whether members of an LGBT organization would be able to march in Boston's St. Patrick Day Parade while displaying political messages on apparel or signs are still being ironed out, says MassEquality head Kara Coredini.

Over the weekend, MassEquality leaders met with Congressman Stephen Lynch, Mayor Marty Walsh, and parade organizer Phil Wuschke. The organization was told it could participate in the parade but could not allow members to wear LGBT-related T-shirts or carry signs that promote gay rights.

Coredini said the parade organizers' willingness to speak with MassEquality was historic in itself, but that the prohibition on statements regarding LGBT rights was a sticking point.

"A parade that is truly welcoming to LGBT people would allow marchers to identify themselves as LGBT. It would not condition celebration of one identity on the silencing of another identity," Coredini said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier, the parade's lead organizer, Tim Duros, said the goal is to "keep the parade an Irish parade." He said that means no political protests or statements are allowed during the festivities, and that includes references to sexual orientation.

The parade is scheduled for March 16.

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