No gay vets to march at Boston St. Patrick’s parade

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The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council announced yesterday that they will continue their long history of banning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from marching openly in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Parade coordinator Tim Duross, said the two sides reached a stalemate. He said the Council is willing to allow the gay veterans to march with the MassEquality banner, but said they are insisting that they be able to carry signs and wear T-shirts identifying themselves as gay. He said organizers want the focus of the parade to be on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

“The fact that they need to identify themselves as openly gay veterans is kind of where the stalemate lies. I don’t know why that’s so important in this parade,” Duross said. “We are not planning romances here. We are just putting on a parade.”

“We were under the impression that negotiations were positive and ongoing, and we were surprised by the abrupt and hostile tone of the Parade organizers’ rejection,” said Kara Coredini, executive director of MassEquality.

“We know from experience that change comes through conversation and dialogue. We were encouraged to have an historic opportunity to meet face-to-face with parade organizers to discuss a contingent involving LGBT veterans, and we did so with open hearts and open minds,” Coredini said. “We regret that the Parade organizers shut down conversation before an agreement could be finalized.”

Organizer Philip Wuschke said that MassEquality was attempting to join the parade “under false pretenses.”

Boston’s mayor is hoping a deal can still be reached to allow the group to march parade. The Irish-American mayor said he would boycott the parade unless gay groups were allowed to participate.

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