Walsh May Boycott Southie St. Patrick’s Day Parade Over Gay Ban

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he will boycott the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston, unless organizers allow gay and lesbian groups to march next month.

Stepping into a long-running controversy, the mayor is trying to broker a deal that would represent a major change in the parade.

Walsh talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Matt Ledin

Walsh On St. Patrick's Parade

It bases its exclusion of gay groups on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1995 that unanimously allowed organizers to keep those groups from participating.

Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Thursday that a gay veterans group, sponsored by Mass Equality, plans to submit an application for this year.

“I think the parade organizers are waiting for the application and, hopefully, they’ll accept the application and I’ll keep my commitment and I’ll be able to march in the parade,” the mayor said.

Walsh, who had the support of the gay community in his election, is expected to meet with parade organizers Thursday.

“It does come up every year and I think it’s time that all parades here in Boston be inclusive.  I think it’s kind of bizarre that we’re having this discussion in 2014,” Walsh said.

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