One month from today Boston’s traditional (although no longer truly) Irish neighborhood, Southie, will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Boston’s former mayor, Tom Menino, made news back in 1994 when he did the unthinkable in Irish-Boston and took the organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade to court for banning “The Gays”. The parade that year was cancelled by the organizers rather than comply with the State’s highest court which ruled against them. Later they were allowed to maintain their “no gays” ban thanks to the US Supreme Court but Menino never joined the parade in the 20 years he served this city as mayor to show his support for Boston’s LGBT community.
This gay voter has a long memory and I wanted to say thank you to Mr. Menino. I remember 1994. Will & Grace hadn’t even premiered yet (it started in 1998). To put this in perspective, two years later in 1996 Bill Clinton would sell-out the LGBT community by signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law.