BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A small Catholic school in Harvard, Massachusetts has pulled out of the South Boston Saint Patrick’s Day Parade because a gay rights advocacy group will be marching this month.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary School announced in a statement Monday its band will not march in the parade March 16 because MassEquality has been allowed to participate.

READ MORE: Police Searching Woods In Abington For Missing 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

The school also provides a float each year.

“This float has become the Icon of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston appearing in all types of media whenever the parade is mentioned. The familiar scene of Saint Patrick joyfully giving his blessing to the crowds has, sad to say, come to an end. In the footsteps of Saint Patrick, IHM does not condone and will not appear to condone the homosexual lifestyle,” Principal Br. Thomas Dalton said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston said they do not have any role in the planning of the parade.

On Saturday, MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini said a group of gay military veterans would be allowed to march under its banner as part of a tentative deal with parade organizers.

But the deal hasn’t been finalized.

READ MORE: 'Plan For Alternatives': Toys May Be In Short Supply This Holiday Season

Coredini said Monday the group wants the marchers to march “openly and honestly” and be able to identify themselves as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement Monday afternoon saying discussions between MassEquality and parade organizers continue.

“All parties remain optimistic that a solution can be reached to allow for an inclusive celebration,” the mayor said.

“I’m grateful to both groups for the open mindedness and courage they continue to display as we work through this process.”

Last year, Immaculate Heart of Mary’s marching band pulled out of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Worcester, because of a conflict with their assigned sponsor, a pro-choice politician, lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Steve Kerrigan.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


MORE NEWS: Lauren Astley's Father Works With Wayland Students To Raise Awareness About Teen Dating Violence

[display-posts category=”local” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4?”]