After an intense push-back from sponsors. politicians, and LGBT activists and allies alike, OUTVETS the gay and lesbian service members organization will now be able to march in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Boston’s Fox affiliate reports:
After several days of back and forth, organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade have decided to allow LGBT veterans group OUTVETS to participate. The decision was announced in a tweet from parade organizers just before 4:30 p.m. Friday.
“This is something that had to be fixed. This is something that I needed to do,” parade organizer Tim Duross said. OUTVETS had initially been denied entry because parade organizers said they violated the code of conduct which prohibits ‘the advertisement or display of one’s sexual orientation’ by carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a logo with a rainbow on it.
After the initial decision to deny OUTVETS’ application, several companies decided to pull their sponsorship and several prominent politicians announced they would not be participating if the LGBT group was not allowed to march.
Dan Magoon, the parade’s chief marshal, who resigned in solidarity with the LGBT veterans, told CNN he was still boycotting the event; he also had expected more than a tweet in response to the controversy.
“Quite honestly, from my view, the damage has been done,” he said. “I still will be standing by OutVets and see what their decision process is. I’m still not participating in the parade.”
Earlier this week, organizers met with OutVets’ Bryan Bishop and asked him to march without a rainbow banner. He refused.
“This is not a political issue, this is an issue of discrimination against those who served,” Bishop told CNN.
Perhaps maybe this time the Allied War Veterans Council that run the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade will learn how to avoid a PR disaster. It’s not difficult: INCLUSION. It is just a damn parade after all.