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Invitation to Gay Rights Group Revoked for St. Patrick's Day Parade

Organizers said Tuesday they were misled by the group MassEquality.

Credit: File photo.
Credit: File photo.

The organizers of the St. Patrick's Day parade in South Boston announced this week that they have revoked their invitation to a gay rights group to participate in the event, according to CBS Boston.

MassEquality, the Boston-based group that seeks to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Massachusetts, was invited to march in the parade last week, a move that came shortly after Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said he would boycott the parade unless gay groups would be allowed to march.

But the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which is sponsoring the parade, said in a statement on Tuesday they were misled by the group calling themselves LGBT Veterans of Equality, an affiliate of MassEquality. 

An original application was approved with the understanding that the 20 veterans of the group could march in the parade without identifying their sexual orientation, according to the statement. The invitation, however, was rejected when the group did not have 20 veterans ready to march, and instead only appeared to have one veteran and 19 LGBT supporters.

"It is our belief that the application submitted to us by LGBT Veterans for Equality was a ploy by them to enter this parade under false pretenses and is hereby denied," the organizers said in the statement. "It is our intention to keep this parade a family friendly event. We will not allow any group to damage the integrity of the historic event or our reputation as a safe and fun filled day for all. We strive to hold the largest and most entertaining St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country."

The original invitation to the group prompted a small Catholic school in Harvard to pull out of the parade; the school said Tuesday that students will now participate, CBS Boston reported

For more, read the full statement at SouthBostonParade.org >>

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