Boston is having a parade to celebrate St. Patricks Day on Sunday, March 17 and LGBT folks are not invited. In fact, we are prohibited from participating.
Gay and lesbian groups are barred from marching in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade by organizers, The Allied War Veterans. Last year, the organizers rejected an application by MassEquality to march in the parade.
In 1992, Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Group of Boston (GLIB) applied to march in the parade and were rejected. The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) argued in front of the United States Supreme Court in groundbreaking case Hurley v. GLIB that all should be allowed to march.
GLIB was allowed to march in 1992 and 1993 due to an order from the court. In 1994 organizers canceled the parade rather than allow GLIB to participate.
In 1995 the case went to the US Supreme Court where parade organizers claimed their First Amendment rights were being infringed upon.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June 1995 reversed the Massachusetts courts.
The Allied War Veterans Council, organizers of the parade, continue to discriminate by not allowing LGBT groups to participate. Many elected officials, including Mayor Tom Menino, vow to boycott the parade until all can participate. Many elected officials choose to march.