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South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade Will Finally Include Two Gay Groups

South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade Will Finally Include Two Gay Groups


It will be worth braving the cold on Sunday.

For the first time ever, Boston Pride will march in the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The 45-year-old LGBT organization applied to be part of the parade for the first time this year. The group was accepted by the South Boston Allied War Veteran's Council, along with a group of gay veterans.

"I'm thrilled that the St. Patrick's Day parade is inclusive this year, and the addition of Boston Pride to the list of participants reflects the values of the South Boston neighborhood," Mayor Marty Walsh said, according to Boston news outlet NECN.

John "Wacko" Hurley, the longtime president of the South Boston Allied War Veteran's Council and staunch opponent of gay participation in the parade, announced he's "retired" from his former position. He claims it had nothing to do with the gay groups taking part in Sunday's parade.

Related: A Brief History of Gays and St. Patrick's Day Parades

The parade's LGBT exclusion has been a point of tension in the generally progressive city for years. In 2013, Boston's then-mayor Thomas Menino and a pair of state legislature candidates refused to march in the South Boston parade, while last year, LGBT group MassEquality rejected an invitation after reportedly organizers reportedly told members they could not march wearing LGBT-related shirts or carry signs supporting gay rights. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also refused to attend last year's parade because MassEquality was not allowed to participate as an openly LGBT organization.

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