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Negotiations Over Gay Marchers At Standstill On Eve Of Southie Parade

By Paul Burton, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Time is running out for an agreement to be reached in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Negotiations over whether gay veterans can march are still at a standstill.

“This is crazy. We are having conversations the night before the parade about this. I’m going to make a decision shortly myself because this thing went on far too long,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

On Saturday the Catholic Action League urged veterans to reject what they call political arm-twisting by the mayor to allow gays to openly march with banners in the parade.

They released a statement saying “a brazen attempt to bully parade organizers into relinquishing both their moral values and their constitutional rights.”

Walsh remains hopeful.

“I am waiting for some phone calls back, but we are close. But like I said, if the parade is not inclusive and people can’t express who they are, then I will not be marching,” Walsh said.

Earlier this week after nearly 10 years of involvement, big-time supporter Boston Beer Co., brewer of Sam Adams beer, pulled its sponsorship for the parade.

If no agreement is reached, the parade will go on as planned but without the mayor’s presence or support.

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