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Mayor Walsh Still Trying To End St. Patrick’s Day Parade Controversy

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is saying it’s not over until it’s over when it comes to brokering a deal to allow gays and lesbians to march in Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston.

The Mayor tells WBZ-TV he’s still talking to “different groups” to make it an inclusive parade. While the odds, he says, were 60-40 just yesterday, he now puts them at 50-50 and climbing blaming a little stubbornness on both sides.

In the time of disagreement a major sponsor Boston Beer Works, the makers of Sam Adams, announced they are pulling their financial support of the parade. “We were hopeful that both sides of the issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to be able to participate in the parade. But given the current status of negotiations, we realize this may not be possible,” the company said in a statement.

The decision comes just one day after Club Café in Boston threatened to stop selling Sam Adams beer because of the company’s sponsorship. “I’m very pleased with the decision,” said club owner Frank Ribaudo. “I think it was a very big thing on their part and not an easy decision for them.”

It might also be a “big thing” for the parade organizers whose website now indicates they are “updating their supporters.” Mayor Walsh says he still has reason for optimism. “Just the fact that we’re ready for this. I know I’ve already a lot of positive feedback from people.”

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