BOSTON — Organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade are easing their two-decade long ban on gay groups by inviting marchers from an organization that seeks to preserve marriage equality for same-sex couples.
A MassEquality official said Saturday a group of gay military veterans can march under its banner as part of a deal brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
But participants from the gay rights group will not be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation while marching in the parade that draws an estimated one million spectators every year to South Boston.
Article continues belowWalsh had threatened to boycott the annual parade unless gay groups are allowed to march. The son of Irish immigrants called the ban “absurd” and said that allowing gay groups to participate is “long overdue.”
He told The Boston Globe the agreement is a breakthrough.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will skip the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan because participants are not allowed to carry signs or banners identifying themselves as gay.
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