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Boston mayor to boycott St. Patrick’s Day parade if gay groups are excluded

Thursday, February 27, 2014
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BOSTON — Boston’s mayor says he will boycott the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade unless gay groups are allowed to participate.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Mayor Martin Walsh says he’s trying to broker a deal with parade organizers to allow a group of gay military veterans to march. The son of Irish immigrants said Wednesday that allowing gay groups to participate is “long overdue.”

Parade organizers, however, appear unwilling to budge.

John “Wacko” Hurley said “it’s final” that gay groups will continue to be excluded, pointing to a unanimous 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing organizers to exclude gay and lesbian groups.

Hurley says Walsh “is not in a position” to overturn the court’s decision.

The parade draws an estimated one million spectators every year to South Boston.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this month he won’t be marching in the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers refuse to allow participants to carry gay pride signs.

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