The man who kept gay groups out of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has died

The late John Hurley.

The late John Hurley. YouTube/Boston Herald

BOSTON — The longtime leader of the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade and the plaintiff in a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court case that allowed organizers to bar gay groups has died.

John Hurley was 85.

The O’Brien Funeral Home in South Boston confirmed the death.

Hurley’s daughter, Lisa Hurley McDonough, told the Boston Herald her father suffered a seizure Tuesday then “just slipped away.”

The high court ruled unanimously that it would violate the free speech rights of private citizens if they were forced to include groups that don’t share their message.

The parade didn’t allow gay groups until this year.

Although most famous for the court case, friends, including former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, said Hurley cared deeply for his fellow veterans and the city.

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