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LGBT veterans denied spot in Boston St. Patrick's parade

Metro - 3/8/2017

Gay veterans who have marched in Boston'sSt. Patrick's Day Parade for the last two years have been denied from participating in this year's event.

OutVets, an LGBTQ veterans group, first marched in the 2015 parade after decades of refusal by parade organizers. In a statement on their Facebook page, OutVets said that the South Boston Allied War Veterans have barred the group entry into this year's event, despite OutVets' previous "without incident" participation.

"This is a sad day for the LGBTQ community but also a horrible day for veterans. We served our country with honor and distinction," the post continues. "But even after successfully participating in this parade and bringing honor to those who have served, we are still fighting for the respect that comes with serving our country."

OutVets said that the reason for their denial was unclear and "one can only assume it's because we are LGBTQ."

Ed Flynn, a member of the South Boston Allied War Veterans, said that he voted to allow OutVets to participate; the final vote was 9 to 4.

"I am saddened and outraged that the Allied War Veterans Council has voted to turn back the clock on equality. As a 25-year veteran of the United States Navy, I support the rights of LGBTQ groups to march in South Boston'sSt. Patrick's Day parade," Flynn said in a statement.

"OutVets is a proud group of LGBTQ military veterans that has marched in the parade since 2014, and there is no reason why that should ever change," he continued. "Accordingly, I will be calling on the council to take a vote of reconsideration and I will stand with the LGBT community in this fight to correct this shameful injustice."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also expressed his disappointment and said that he will not attend this year's parade due to that decision.

"I will not tolerate discrimination in our city of any form. We are one Boston, which means we are a fully inclusive city," he said in a statement. "I will not be marching in the parade unless this is resolved. Anyone who values what our city stands for should do the same."

 
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