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Boston Mayor Snubs Homophobic St. Patrick's Day Parade

Boston Mayor Snubs Homophobic St. Patrick's Day Parade

Martywalsh

Boston's Irish-American mayor refused to participate in the event, which excluded LGBT soldiers.

Nbroverman

After failing to find a compromise with parade organizers, Boston mayor Martin Walsh refused to attend one of his city's most famous gatherings.

The Allied War Veteran's Council, which puts the parade together, said LGBT veterans and soldiers could only march if they put aside gay rights signs, clothing, or flags. The Roman Catholic-affiliated Council refused to budge, even with the Democratic mayor mediating between them and MassEquality, the state's LGBT rights organization.

Other Democrats did participate in the parade, held during freezing temperatures, including Roman Catholic congressman Stephen Lynch. Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation, but its religious roots remain strong, often leading to conflict between LGBT rights and church doctrine.

That conflict extends to much of the northeast; New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade, to be held Monday, also has limits on how gay particpants can be. Mayor Bill de Blasio will skip the festivities in response.

Corporate leaders are paying attention, with former parade sponsors Heineken and the parent company of Sam Adams dropping their support from the New York and Boston parades, respectively. Read more here.

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.