Group that is pro-LGBT will march in South Boston parade, but won't utter the word 'gay'

The Globe reports on the decision by the South Boston Association of Non-Profits to march under the don't-ask-don't-tell restrictions set by parade organizers.

Earlier:
MassEquality says no deal.
But what about the Imperial storm troopers?

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Victory over what?

By on

Why is this an "us vs. them" thing? One thing I've never understood about this particular "battle" is why? Why do you want to march in a parade where you are not wanted? It's kind of like me going to an Elizabeth Warren fundraiser and asking all kinds of uncomfortable questions. There's a time and a place for debate and protest - and a parade just isn't it.

I'm all for equal rights, including being a staunch supporter of gay marriage, but I am puzzled as to why anyone wants to march in a parade as a gay person (other than the Pride Parade). I'll clap for a band, I'll clap for a veteran, I'll clap for the clowns (even the scary ones) and I'll tolerate the politicians. But I'm not going to clap for someone because they are gay - it's nothing special. Wasn't that the point? Why do you need a "victory" if you've already won?

Again - I just don't get why? Serious question - can anyone answer it seriously without snark?

up
33

one word

By on

PUBLICITY

The parade is a widely known televised event and Mass Equality wants to capitalize on that, nothing more, nothing less.

up
16

for exactly that reason

By on

For exactly that reason. What if you went to that Elizabeth Warren fundraiser and were turned away?? What does your orientation have to do with raising money for Elizabeth Warren? It may seem like picking a fight, but the reasons are still sound. Raise awareness, equality, and head towards a point where it shouldn't be a factor.

up
13

Saint Patrick's Day Parade

By on

This is classic liberalism, they demand to be allowed into any event they choose, but that right only applies to groups that they like. Do you think a pro life group would get to march in the next gay pride parade? Do you think a gun rights group would get to march? When a liberals demands that everyone be treated the same, he does not mean 'everyone'....... he means everyone he agrees with!

A gay rights activist going to a Warren fundraiser is hardly an example of who would get discriminated against at her fundraiser! Send a gun rights activist and see if they get turned away, send a pro life advocate and see if they get turned away, send a member of the Tea Party!

Liberals would have no issue discriminating against any of those people! A liberals would be praised for doing it!

Liberals demand that their be no discrimination, but only no discrimination against people they agree with! people they do not agree with your still welcome to discriminate against all you want!

I dont get it , there is a

By on

I dont get it , there is a pride parade. Why would you go where you arent wanted anyway. Why do people want to be labeled by what they do in the bedroom or the drive-in? Thats private stuff. How do you explain to a child what it is they do? Okay hornets , out of the nest , attack !

up
13

Well, when I was a kid

By on

and I saw two men kissing at the old Boston Flea Market for the first time, I asked my Dad why two guys were kissing like that, he replied, "they're very special friends". That was all I needed to hear.

up
20

why do you have to explain to a child...?

By on

i never understand this argument. either your kid is old enough to talk about sex, or they aren't. but being around homosexuals doesn't mean you automatically have to explain who-puts-what-where. just like you don't have to if you are around heterosexuals. and if your kid is old enough to ask, then they are old enough to be given an age-appropriate answer.

heterosexuals are obsessed with what gay people do in the bedroom, but being gay is more than just how you reach orgasm. it's just who you are. and you should be able to be who you are wherever you go.

up
25

Some heterosexuals ...

heterosexuals are obsessed with what gay people do in the bedroom

Actually, some of us aren't any more or less interested in what our gay neighbors do than we are in what our straight neighbors do. It is just some mouthy alleged heterosexuals that get worked up about the mechanics of it all, despite their near-universal applicability, and, well, most people think they are nuts.

up
18

Curious

By on

Maybe it's that heterosexuals just do not need to know what other heterosexuals or homosexuals do in their bedrooms..... maybe they just don't see why there needs to be a parade float that focus's on what you do in your bedroom!

This has always confused me. The same people who declare that no one should care what they do in their own bedroom, are the same people who demand a parade float to tell you what they do in their own bedrooms! How does that make any sense?

But this is pretty much classical liberalism! How many times are we told that your skin color, or your gender or your sexual preference has absolutely nothing to do with how you would preform a job....... until we have an opening on the supreme court, then a liberal will nominate someone of a particular skin color, gender or sexual preference and spend 45 minutes telling us how important it is to how they will do the job!

Whew

By on

I'm glad we can bring back the "No Irish Need Apply" signs without controversy. I'm glad to hear that they wouldn't want to go where they aren't wanted.

up
16

My kids have always known gay couples

They are married - or they are boyfriend and boyfriend or girlfriend and girlfriend. End of story.

How do you explain heterosexual couples to kids? Exact same thing.

Do you believe that you have to explain in graphic detail to the flower girl or ring bearer at a heterosexual wedding what you think the bride and groom are going to do once the fancy clothes come off? Of course not.

up
21

Um, because they're Irish-American, and feel they

should be included in a parade that celebrates Irish-American heritage? There are plenty of groups marching that are "Irish-American plus something": veterans, bagpipers, on and on. So the victory would be over parade organizers who believe they can fairly exclude a part of the Irish-American community for reasons of bigotry, when in fact the Irish-American community at large isn't nearly as homophobic. Further, the religious basis of their bigotry looks increasingly shaky in a world where even the Pope is saying, "Hating gays is messed up."

The argument that says, "You have your own parade; stick to it" is puzzling to me. What, you only get to participate in one parade per year? People can only affiliate with one group, when in fact we all have multiple affiliations (ancestry, neighborhood, profession, service to country, avocations, etc.)?

up
30

Without a Snark

By on

Stevil, I think the answer to your question of why they want to march is that it is the same reason that black people would want to march in a parade where the organizers told them they didn't allow blacks to march. It is to throw down the acceptance of bigotry against gays. Being gay isn't a choice, and it isn't a quality that anyone should be allowed to discriminate with any more than race is. This also answers the other poster's question about how do you explain what "they do" to your kids. You explain it in same way that you explain why some people have darker skin than others - specifically, because some people are just born that way and there are lots of different kinds of people in the world.

As to your higher level question of why is this an "us versus them" thing, I totally agree. I do not understand why anyone sees the need to discriminate against gays. In particular, I do not understand why Catholics believe that being gay is against their beliefs. The Pope himself has now asked "who is he to judge." It is confusing as to why people continue to get so bent out of shape about gay people. There are plenty of other things to commit your energy towards.

up
17

I'm in the same boat as you

By on

Someone below made the comment that there are gays of Irish descent, thus they should be able to march. I'm sure there are Klan members of Irish descent as well. Should the parade organizers allow them to march? Not to mention I doubt that pride would agree to let Westboro Baptist Church in their parade, even if they claimed they were gay.

Either they have the ability to pick and choose their participants or they don't

Their refusal to permit a group to march is fair game for criticism, but the bottom line is that either they can choose their participants, or we can have no parades at all.

Disclaimer: I am by not means equating gays with hate groups. I am fully supportive of gay rights and marriage. I am also fully supportive of private organizations being able to control their own membership.

up
12

Your disclaimer

By on

Is meaningless. You say you aren't equating gays with hate groups, but that is exactly what you're doing in your first paragraph.

Also, the parade is free to issue permits to whomever they please, but this does not make them immune from criticism regarding their decisions.

up
19

Read much?

By on

"the parade is free to issue permits to whomever they please, but this does not make them immune from criticism regarding their decisions."

That's what I just said.

The issue is that people are acting as if the parade has an obligation to include all comers. They don't. Nor does any other parade. The parade organizers don't want the gays groups there because they apparently don't care for what they stand for. I used extreme examples of other scenarios where a parade would not accept a group for the same reason. If you can't understand that, I can't help you.

up
10

You're still arguing a point that nobody is making

"[P]eople are acting as if the parade has an obligation to include all comers." Actually, no; everyone involved recognizes that the Supreme Court settled this as a matter of law. But there are other ways to achieve social justice besides the courts, and that's what they are pursuing.

up
15

Then why

By on

are they pursing the issue of marching when they have been told no? Why are there these ridiculous "well you can march but don't talk about being gay" negotiations?

I would think "these guys are bigots and we want everyone to know" is a much stronger message than "they offered to let us march, but we wanted to make bit of scene, so then they said no".

up
11

"They have been told no"

by the courts. But I can understand why some of them would be dissatisfied with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compromise currently on the table. So the question remains: should they let what they perceive to be discrimination stand unchallenged because the Supreme Court says it is legal? There are a lot of stars aligned in their favor: the Pope, non-homophobic Irish-Americans, the Mayor, the growing tide of young people that think that kind of bigotry is a disease of sad, out-of-touch old people. This isn't going to get easier for the parade organizers.

up
13

I understand

By on

I understand just fine. I understand you're using a strawman argument to try and prove a point. "The issue is that people are acting as if the parade has an obligation to include all comers." No one is arguing that.

I also understand the black-or-white logical fallacy of this statement "I used extreme examples of other scenarios where a parade would not accept a group for the same reason."

You don't seem to understand that LGBT groups want to march in this parade because, within Boston, it is viewed as an honor to be included. These groups are putting pressure on the organizers to allow them to march because, while it's the organizers' right to not allow them to march, they disagree with their decision and are trying to effect a change.

You appear to believe that this is an all-or-nothing situation where if we support one group marching we must support all groups marching, when the reality is that if WBC or KKK supporters would like to lobby the organizers for a permit they are just as free to do so, but I doubt they would garner the same broad public support as the LGBT groups.

up
11

Some interesting, completely absurd examples there

In what universe do you live that the Westboro loons might claim to be gay? Further, Klan and Westboro "Church" members are voluntary joiners of organizations that are defined by their hatred of others. Opposing their bigotry isn't remotely the same thing as discriminating against a group of citizens, e.g., Irish immigrants or gay Irish-Americans.

The Supreme Court has already decided the current legal status of the issue, that they are allowed to discriminate. No one is arguing that point of history. The question remains: should that discrimination be allowed to stand unchallenged because the Supreme Court says it is legal? There are other ways to bring pressure in favor of social justice besides the courts. Continue to argue the case in the court of public opinion. Bring commercial pressure and public shame on its sponsors. Continue to point out that the religious basis of their bigotry is eroding, and that in general, Americans are ridding themselves of the old prejudices. Keep pointing out that the organizers' bigotry is out of step with the times, and, I suspect, out of step with what most Irish-Americans think. If they're truly honoring their Irish heritage, maybe it's time to let go of homophobia the way the native Irish have already.

up
19

WBC can claim anything they want

By on

If I were of that sort, I would claim I'm gay, get in the parade and carry a sign that said HELLBOUND SINNER. But I guess neither they, nor you, are that creative.

As you say, it's perfectly legal for the parade to pick and choose its participants. Yes that discrimination should stand as long as the private entity chooses to do so. If people decide not to participate or attendance declines, great. Perhaps they will change their policy or cancel the parade in the future. Speech and private discrimination are not free from criticism. If the parade continues to be successful in spite of their position, so be it.

The point of my extreme examples is that the parade organizers may feel about gays, the same way you or I feel about the Klan or WBC. Doesn't make it moral in our eyes, it just is. So as Stevil said, why would you want to go to parade full of people that dislike you? Make your statements, criticize it, counter protest, boycott sponsors, etc. Then, when the bigots try to crash your party, you will be 100% in the right to tell them to buzz off.

up
10

The other big, faulty assumption is here that

because the parade organizers are homophobes, they speak for everyone associated with their event as participants or spectators. I don't buy it. They may be comfortable with their discriminatory behavior for now and feel shielded by the court decision, but that level of comfort won't survive the tide of history.

up
17

That's not an assumption on my part

By on

I'm sure you are correct about the participants and spectators being diverse in their opinions.

The organizers are shielded by the court decision, as they should be.

Currently, it appears the participants and spectators don't view it as a big enough issue to stay home. Hopefully that will change in the future, but until the issue prevents them from having what they deem a successful parade, they have no reason change.

Which brings me back to my point. Pressuring the participants and the spectators will be much more effective than lobbying the organizers. In the eyes of the parade organizers, the parade is doing just fine without the gay marchers. Change that, and you win.

up
10

Your points are well taken, Mc Slim JB.

By on

Not only do the St. Patrick's Day parade organizers not speak for all of the parade participants and/or spectators, or for all of the community in which the parade takes place, but sooner or later, their assumptions that their discriminatory behavior is protected by the court is going to fall apart, and the behavior will backfire on them in a big way. If the whole history of the United States is any indication, and the fact that people who've been victims of oppression and discrimination bite back sooner or later, how much longer will it be before the homophobic parade organizers see a severe backlash against them? Not too, too long, imho. I see it coming.

up
10

Maybe Southie residents

By on

Maybe Southie residents should vote on it. I would love to see the Irish Gay Community march in our parade. I think it's a beautiful thing to teach our children to accept and be kind to all people. We should also encourage our children to be who they are and be proud of it. Even when other's think it's wrong. I was raised in SB and my parents taught me not to hate and to have an open mind.

up
18

Because people can be more than one thing at the same time

By on

IIRC the trouble was over groups that were Irish AND gay or veterans AND gay. They wanted to join the parade because they were Irish-identified but the organizers objected to the gay part. It's tough to leave essential elements of your self home and just march with the parts of yourself that are left.

Imagine how weird it would seem saying to a group that they could march but only if they hid the fact that they are left-handed.

up
17

Grow up called a faggot, queer or told you should die?

By on

Gays have always been the ultimate scapegoat. As much as Jews in pre-modern Europe, more than Irish, Catholics or any other ethnicity (with the possible exception of American Indians) in the U.S. Gays have always been the Other that is blamed for all the evil in the world.

Why has that changed? Because Gays are no longer the invisible target that everyone else could point to as the source of all that is evil. Joe McCarthy in the 50s tried to use Gays as much as Communists as a symbol adn target to disrupt government and make himself a hero.

So why should Gay people be in this parade? To continue to remind everyone else that Gay people actually are like everyone else with one exception. But an exception that has resulted in eons of oppression and hatred. Participating in this parade or any parade is about being vigilant against the forces that would try to use Gay people again as a scapegoat for to advance their own evil ambitions and and be the target of their own hatred for what is different (e.g., Arizona Republican legislators).

up
15

Why?

By on

Because it's a parade on public streets. Wacko et al are free to discriminate - but they shouldn't be able to do it at an event that takes place entirely on public property.

up
16

Because it shows support to a

By on

Because it shows support to a community that is hated and discriminated against. I will clap for anyone who is trying to make the world a better place. Gay people are hated on so those that support them need to show it.

up
11

Clothing

By on

Can each person wear a color of the rainbow flag or is that also "illegal?"

up
15

I was surprised the parade

By on

I was surprised the parade organizers were so clear that anyone who is not in military uniforms or a suit will be kicked out of the parade. That draws a line that they have not adhered to in the past but is clear to all if they are hypocritical and let others march in clothing other than those.

up
18

Kids

By on

They haven't kicked out the kids in Irish dance costumes yet.

up
10

Irish Step Dancers

By on

The Irish Step danvers have not been in the parade for years. The parade is a dyunk-fest and the teachers are afraid the jids could get hurt - all the drunks rush them and want to dance with the kids.

up
11

They march in the second

By on

They march in the second parade that follows this one. It's not the same.

up
10

missing the irony

By on

I think some of you are perhaps missing the central irony here in that, not that terribly long ago, the Irish themselves were second-class citizens in this city. Even the catholics themselves were outcasts to proper Puritanical Bostonians. To treat another minority group the same way is patently hypocritical.

up
18

At this point...

I'm so sick of this entire situation that I hope the LGBT community turns that stupid parade into something freakier than Halloween in the Village. Both sides in this need to grow up, come to a reasonable compromise and shut the fuck up, otherwise I'm all for making it a complete mockery.

up
13

Next year it'll be

By on

the Yuppie Metrosexuals who will want to march.

up
14

Time to move the parade

By on

down to the Seaport/innovation district. That way the drunken buffoons, both gay and straight, will stop pissing and puking in my alley.

up
14

BS

By on

It's because they get off on drama... For the record they can march in the parade, as firefighters, as cops, as any number of things. They just can't hijack a parade and make it about the fact that they are gay. Too bad so sad, it isn't about your sexuality...believe it or not, not everything is.