An “emergency” meeting was held on Friday by the 13-members of the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston — the group who organize the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Following that meeting, they announced they signed an ‘‘acceptance letter’’, clearing the way for OUTVETS to participate, which in effect reversed their original announcement barring the group from the 2017 parade.
While the organizers ultimately did the right thing they’ve once again cast a shadow over an uncomfortable legacy of discrimination.
It was unclear if the reversal of the decision was a result of a second vote by the council, but what is clear is that several of the members of the council need to step down and allow new members to replace them. While the organizers ultimately did the right thing they’ve once again cast a shadow over an uncomfortable legacy of discrimination that most of us had thought was put to rest when the LGBT group (OUTVETS) were first allowed to march in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2015.
The damage done by the members of the council who initially voted not to allow OUTVETS to march was self inflicted and news of their decision was picked up by local, national and international media. Those who initially sought to justify their vote to ban OUTVETS claimed it was the use of the groups rainbow in their logo that was the source of them being denied to which Bryan Bishop, OUTVETS Director replied, “…I told them if that’s the case, then every picture of a rainbow in the parade that leads to a pot of gold needs to be removed.”
However, the bizarre excuse sounded more like a vain attempt to deflect criticism and calls of discrimination that put the parade in jeopardy as more of Boston’s Southie residents started speaking up and as several high profile parade sponsors sought to distance themselves by ending their relationship.
Previous posts on this topic
Rainbow flag cited as reason to deny OUTVETS in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 9)