On Wednesday, organizers of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston left a cowardly after-hours voicemail rejecting MassEquality’s application to participate in the 2014 parade. In doing so, organizers cited the 1995 US Supreme Court decision in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, which held that parade organizers are legally able to exclude openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, (LGBT) people from participating thus continuing its many years of anti-gay bigotry.
“We don’t know who’s gay in the parade, and we don’t ban gay people. We ban gay demonstrations, people that are sending out the wrong messages, messages that we don’t agree with.” parade organizers pointing out that they accepted the application if the South Boston Association of Non-Profits (SBANP) which stated on its application LGBT members would be marching contingent.
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini issued the following statement in response:
“Since when does being open and proud of being an LGBTQ person in the City of Boston send the ‘wrong message’? It’s stunning that in 2014 a high-profile cultural institution like the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade would force LGBTQ people to retreat back into the closet in order to participate. This is just another version of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
Interestingly the REAL St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland embraces LGBT groups and allows them to march. But considering the “Southie” residents of Boston a very Catholic group has turned the parade into nothing more than an excuse for drinking till you vomit and urinating in public what can you expect.