BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston is easing its two-decade ban on gay organizations under a tentative deal to allow them to march in an event that once went to the Supreme Court to keep gays out, a marriage equality group said Saturday.
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini said a group of gay military veterans can march under its banner as part of a tentative deal with parade organizers brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Marchers from the gay-rights group would not, however, be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that refer to sexual orientation, Coredini said.
Negotiators will work out final details in the coming week, she said.
“But, we are encouraged this conversation is happening. That is a significant step forward,” Coredini told The Associated Press.
Although there are still particulars to hammer out, Coredini said the development is a big deal for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“The LGBT community faces many challenges more significant than this parade, but the parade has been historically been the symbol of those challenges that we face,” Coredini said. “It’s been 20 years since openly LGBT people have been able to march in this parade.”
Coredini also acknowledges that there are still concerns about the tentative deal.
“The problem with this parade is not that LGBT people haven’t been able to march, it’s that openly LGBT people haven’t been able to march. And that is equivalent to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a thing of yesterday and we want that to be true for the parade too. What we are driving at as an organization is an opportunity for openly LGBT people to march.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports