Parade organizers: LGBT veterans group a lie and a sham

Well, that went well:

The Council performs background checks on groups wishing to march prior to their acceptance. We were unable to find any evidence of LGBT Veterans for Equality that would confirm them as a recognized Veterans Organization.

We appreciate the efforts the Mayor’s office to try and mediate this issue. However it is our intention to keep this an Irish Celebration, dedicated to our Men and Women serving in our Armed Forces. We will fight to keep our parade and its traditions.

Therefore, we The Allied War Veterans of South Boston fell we were misled by LGBT Veterans for Equality. It is our belief that the application submitted to us by LGBT Veterans for Equality was a ploy by them to enter this parade under false pretenses and is hereby denied.

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Comments

start charging for the police details

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It is time that the city started charging for all the police details that are needed to maintain order along the parade route. This parade is no more about honoring veterans than it is about celebrating the color pink. As the Supreme Court ruled, it is a private event and the city needs to treat it accordingly. Stop spending the taxpayers' money to support it.

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the South Boston parade is

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the South Boston parade is actually the only parade that pays for itself through donations and sponsors

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Absurd

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What is the funding for the many other parades in Boston? The India Day parade was actually moved out of Boston due to outrageous security costs. That parade moved because security would have bankrupted the parade. The parades celebrating Greeks, the Gay Pride parade, the Italian parades of the North End and every other parade that is privately sponsored pays for itself just as the St. Hypocrite's Parade of Southie. Claiming that the Southie debacle is the only parade that pays for itself is just plain false.

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Bullcrap !!!!

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I'm calling bullcrap on your assertion that the Allied War Council of South Boston pays for all the police details needed during the parade. I just looked at your IRS filings and there are no payments to cover the expenses of the city. In fact, in 2010, the total expenses for the organization was $1604.68 for printings, publications, postage and shipping. No other expenses were declared! I am certain that if this august organization was making payment to the city to cover the expense of the police details, it would be included in the IRS filings.

So the taxpayers of the city and state are paying a ton for all those details so that you can have your private parade. You want a private event, then pay for the police details.

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I have no idea about the

I have no idea about the finances of the parade, but is it known at all? Does the organization which runs the parade file a 990? Would that show the funds in/out and include expenses related to the parade? Seems like the city's costs would be straightforward, and does the organization pull in enough cash to cover that?

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The ALLIED WAR VETS DO NOT

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The ALLIED WAR VETS DO NOT PAY FOR ANY OF THE SERVICES DELIVERED BY THE CITY OF BOSTON.

They have filed a PC form with the Atty Generals Non Profit section but the money they claim that the fundraise does not jive with statements they have made.

1.) In an interview with Suffolk University, Wacko Hurley said that he gave each band participating $2,000 to cover costs.

2.) In an interview he said that fighting the lawsuit had cost over $180,000.

3.) The Allied War Vets reported raising $20,036 in 2007, $16,475 in 2008 and $34,361 in 2009.

4.) ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE COMMITTEE OF HOLYOKE, INC. reported raising $363,827 in 207, $377,426 in 2008 and $366,978 in 2009.

5.) The Allied War Vets of South Boston claim that their parade in the 2nd largest in the country.

Is there something wrong here? The numbers do not make sense.

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Yeah, try again. The city

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Yeah, try again. The city spent over $315,000 last year for overtime on police details. Public funds going for a private parade where they see fit to exclude citizens based on sexual orientation. Gets back to the Supreme Court even deeming this a private event in the first place, which remains questionable. Time for the city to consider putting this money to a better use. How about offsetting some BPS cuts?

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What about the T?!! Extra

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What about the T?!! Extra train service, staffing, lots of extra cops, bus routes shut down. It's not their parade, but, they must take a huge hit.

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Do they take a hit or is

Do they take a hit or is overall revenue increased as a result, which would exceed any additional costs incurred and decreased bus revenue? I don't know the answer, but I'm sure someone does.

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Or any other function?

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Fenway during a Red Sox game? First Night parade? Greek Parade? Pride? Boston Marathon?

I'm guessing the city has pretty good protocols that are well publicized and fair for all.

According to the Globe article on this issue the "group" of gay veterans actually consisted of only one veteran.

This is getting ridiculous - as I said in another post - I don't want to see gay people marching behind a banner for one reason. Random people walking and chewing gum is boring. If you are entertaining (like a band or a clown or a fat guy wearing a funny hat in a tiny car driving in circles), a cop, a fireman (especially if you are on a fire truck), a veteran, a soldier especially in uniform - that's interesting to see and/or worthy of my applause.

Who wants to stand in the cold and watch a bunch of people with a sign walk down a Boston street in March? Gay, straight or otherwise - if you are not in theme appropriate costume or uniform - including politicians - I'd prefer it if you stayed on the side and clapped standing next to me (except I never go to this parade - so join me at First Night or the Pride parade which I go to almost every year).

If I were an organizer - I'd say - we want groups that do something more interesting than just being gay (or straight). Get back to us when you get a fleet of tiny cars and funny hats. Tiny bicycles are good too - but don't tell markk we are allowing people with bikes to ride in the street.

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Are you really saying that this parade "pays for itself?"

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And I have no idea--just saying that I doubt it. And yeah, if we were scraping ouzo-addled "Kiss Me-I'm Greek" idiots off the street for two days, I'm sure it would have up as an issue. And yeah--the extra police to break up all of the fights at Gay Pride, you know when those country line dancers cross paths with the Ramrod guys, things can get pretty ugly.

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i have no idea who pays for what

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But I'm sure the city has rules around all of this that apply equally - and while I enjoy the Pride Parade, the First Night parade, the Sox and a host of other activities around the city - I'm sure they are all treated roughly the same when it comes to organizing and paying. If not I'm sure the ACLU - and worse - The Herald, would be all over it!

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An extra 200,000 people

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An extra 200,000 people taking the train in and out of the city that day. Pretty sure it's the only Sunday of the year that it actually makes money.

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You really believe the

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You really believe the effective way to move an extra 200,000 people is by back logging them at the fare gates until they've paid?! It's more like New Years and July 4th. You don't move a large drunken crowd of rookie T users by making them all stand there asking, "How much is a ticket? How do I buy a ticket?".

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The parade, like the gay

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The parade, like the gay pride parade, have a right to do what they do by the right of assembly. Parade permit rules with things like policing are enacted because the government can legitimately regulate the right for public order reasons with 'time, place and manner' considerations so long as they are viewpoint neutral. They can't be enacted and then used to effectively quash the right by 'pricing out speech' and/or to approve and disapprove viewpoints.

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Good

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For them!

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not actually a sham

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"The Council performs background checks on groups wishing to march prior to their acceptance."

Really? Somehow I doubt that they conducted "background checks" on any other groups...

"We were unable to find any evidence of LGBT Veterans for Equality that would confirm them as a recognized Veterans Organization."

Did you try a Google search, guys? Seems they've been around and marched in other parades.

http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=59&pst=489866
http://www.entitysource.com/details/entity/ny_847591/united-veterans-for...
https://secure.flickr.com/photos/pipistrula/178824993/

What/who decides they're "recognized"? The VA? https://www.va.gov/vso/ Huh, except it says right there on that page that they're not in the business of "recognizing" groups, and that the only reason they're listed is for claims handling.

"Inclusion of non-chartered organizations does not constitute or reflect VA recognition of said organization and its representatives for purposes of representation of VA claimants."

Maybe they're talking about congressionally chartered groups? http://veterans.house.gov/citizens/resources

...except I don't see the "Allied War Veterans of South Boston" listed there.

So what's the deciding authority on "recognition", hmm?

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Spot on

I kept trying to "interpret" this press release (the author's grasp of the English language is tenuous at best), and couldn't really see where the actual decision was made and how. It is insinuated that because this particular group couldn't instantly provide a list of veterans on the spot that they were thus not eligible to participate. I don't know if other groups looking to march have to also prove that they are veterans groups and provide a list of all marchers weeks in advance, but I somehow doubt it.

So, basically, a vague policy is selectively enforced based on standards that aren't clear, but really, they don't hate teh gheys.

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Actually, a Google search

Actually, a Google search didn't find any references to LGBT Veterans for Equality, an affiliate of Mass Equality. It did find some other groups from other cities that include the phrase "Veterans for Equality" in their names. Adding quotes around the phrase "LGBT Veterans for Equality," I couldn't find any references to this group except in today's news.

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Yuck

Teh gay is evil, but a bunch of Plastic Paddies getting shitfaced drunk and beating the shit out of each other is somehow tolerable? The parade blows, and no support should be given to it.

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However it is our intention

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However it is our intention to keep this an Irish Celebration

As an Irish-American, this is an utterly and completely laughable statement.

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I'm confused....

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A bunch of guys who went to war to protect our freedoms feel like they can deny other Americans those same freedoms?

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This is when I start to wonder why

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I even give a hoot about anything that happens in South Boston. If they have to jump through this many hoops to keep one group out of their stupid f'ing parade, then hey--go for it. Carry on trying to maintain your rep as a isolated, xenophobic, blindered little bunch of backwards-ass jerks. Just don't come whining to the rest of us about your alcohol problems, your heroin problems, your gangster problems, your repressive church that doesn't let you do XYZ.This is how you want to roll? Enjoy. It all comes with the territory. And oh yeah--have fun cleaning up the broken glass, the vomit, and the passed-out drunks. Just try to keep it local and don't bother the rest of us--it's your parade, after all.

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If only everyone felt that way

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I personally pretty much agree with you, that there's really nothing about that parade that I'd care about.

The problem though is that so many people view it as a nonsectarian public event that's welcoming of everyone. BPS teachers ask about it in class in the same way that they ask if people went to the marathon or watched the Red Sox. Talking about this parade in school is actually about as appropriate as asking kids to raise their hands if they went to Sunday mass (outside of a lesson on world religions). If everyone realized that the parade was a sectarian event that explicitly discriminates against a portion of the population, I'd be fine just viewing it as something that's free to exist, but is stupid and bigoted and not something I care about.

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No...

"The problem though is that so many people view it as a nonsectarian public event that's welcoming of everyone."

No. This parade, and the celebration that goes on in South Boston that day, is absolutely not regarded as an event that's welcoming of everyone. I have plenty of friends who avoid it like the plague because of its reputation as being a celebration of "the good old days" and all their attendant biases. Having been a few times, I can't say I blame them. The only place I've heard more homophobic epithets is at a Pats game. Cheap seats, of course.

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I have to agree with you. As

I have to agree with you. As a newbie Bostonian many years ago, I was advised to avoid the whole thing. It get's too wild, too early with people who are too drunk to care. I also think it represents on some levels a slice of "old Boston" that we're better off leaving the past.

So, having written that, while I recognize what participating in the parade means symbolically, personally, I think it's time for everyone to step back and say, "It's a parade." These organizers' positions, although justified by the courts and legal, are homophobic and wrong. Eventually they're going to ruin it for themselves as their attitudes become more obsolete and out of synch with the general population, and we should let them do so by simply ignoring them.

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Really? I am a BPS employee.

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Really? I am a BPS employee. I've never heard a co-worker ever mention it. They are just happy to have another day off. My 3 kids went through the BPS, K-12. In all their combined years, no one ever asked them about the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

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Wait

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You know about every single thing that went on during your kids' schooling? That's amazing.

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Hey Sally

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Thanks, people like you make me so proud to be from Southie. Lets start from the top: you should stop wondering and stop typing as well, because we certainly don't give a "hoot" what you (or the nameless cowards who upvoted your snobby comment) think. Jumping through hoops to keep a privately run event exactly how the organizers want it is something to take pride in; especially when the event attracts tens of thousands of people each year to our town. Us "isolated, xenophobic, blindered little bunch of backwards-ass jerks" are so glad you enjoy strengthening stereotypes because it allows us to easily spot your blatant hypocrisy. If I didnt know any better I'd think you were an extreme right-wing conservative spewing hate speech about gays... Next up on your list of things to hate us for is my favorite: drugs. Alcohol and heroin seem to be the typical go-to's for you people (and by that I mean ill-informed d-bags); because, as you must already know, its really fun to verbally abuse addicts for their faults and general misfortune... I'm not even going to address our "gangster problems" because I'm almost positive you've watched The Departed and maybe even read All Souls so I doubt I could add to your wealth of knowledge on that topic even if I tried... And wow you even brought up the church huh? That's pretty brutal but refresh my memory are those parishes part of the same archdiocese that nearly went bankrupt paying for diddling lawsuits? Were you around when the vast majority of this community turned its back on that "repressive" institution leading to parochial school closures and a major shift in public opinion? That was 10+ years ago, funny you didnt hear about it... So if all this nonsensical blabbering is how you want to roll then hey, go for it, I'll be sure to step right over your passed out, cloaked-in-vomit friends who flock to "SoBo" for roof deck parties on St Paddys day... in other words I'll continue to not give a flying "hoot" about what you think, where you're from, what your vices are, or what you believe in because unlike you I know that if something doesnt concern me its really none of my hooting business... The End

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For someone who doesn't give a hoot

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you sure like to go off at the mouth.

You seem to have misinterpreted my comment but since you have so much time on your hands, feel free to reread it. It's the organizers of your "privately run event" who are making the people of South Boston look like a bunch of hypocritical, faux-pious, backwards a**holes, not me. All I'm saying is that if that's how you want to look to the rest of the world, feel free, just don't expect a lot of sympathy from the rest of us. And sorry, buddy, but I literally don't know anybody anymore who attends the parade, let alone goes to get wasted. A lot of us Boston Irish have moved on to, uh...the wider world. Bigger things. More interesting questions than who we're going to allow in our little clubhouse, you know? Have a swell time.

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Have

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you ever seen the Pride Parade.

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Stop teasing.

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Just because he gets sweaty every time the Ramrod float goes by.

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Not in a while

They got so boring in years since one time the dykes slipped that bed float in behind the mayor's car and performed lots of simulated sex acts.

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Oh no, its a gay person!

In uniform! Look away, children, look away! Just stare at the staggeringly drunk onlookers, kids ... and step around the green puddles.

Perhaps they will just have to keep all the children in ya brother's bah just to be safe!

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I just love how hey tout htis

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I just love how hey tout htis parade as fmaily friendly. Yes, being around incredibly drunk people is OK. Ho-hum - Southi bigotry is still boring. The more things change the more they stay the same.

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I copy and pasted this from

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I copy and pasted this from the Caught in Southie website:

"FYI: There was no compromise to be had. The requirement has always been by the Allied War Vets, and still is that gays could march but could not ever display any signs or banners or anything else that proclaimed their sexual preference. The gay groups had to this point, always rejected that condition. The same rules applied to a Heterosexual group that made application to march in the parade several years back proclaiming their Irish American Heterosexual pride. They were told the same by the Allied War Vets: No! No group, gay or straight or anyone else would be allowed to have any sexual message whatsoever. The Allied War Vets held their ground on this . They did not back away from their stand. The Gay group granted permission to march this year has agreed to abide by the long standing rule. Had they done this years ago, there would never have been an issue. Congrats to the South Boston Allied War Vets for holding firm in barring any and all sexual messages in a family themed parade. And well done to the gay group for finally understanding that rules are the same for everyone - no acceptions. Now, maybe the news media will finally move on and find some other non issue to sensationalize."

Thank you to the person who wrote this.

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That's an asinine comparison

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That's an asinine comparison SwirlyGirl. You're comparing a piece of jewlery on a finger to waving a big flag and marching with signs? lol get real.

A public display of sexuality

Before gay people could marry, wedding rings signified that you were a practicing heterosexual.

Don't be obtuse - just because people like you don't think about it, doesn't mean that it isn't advertising one's sexuality and partnership status.

Fuck off, asshole.

There is nothing family friendly about that parade. It is a bunch of South Shore "Irish" Americans who come to Southie three times a year, the opening of Sullivan's, the last day of Sullivan's, and the parade, mobbing the T, getting drunk and puking everywhere, starting fights with anyone, particularly minorities and anyone who looks different, and assaulting anyone who tries to stop them. The parade is a disgrace to the city.

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The application stated that

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The application stated that 20 United States Veterans wished to March with Mayor Walsh and other Politicians in this year’s parade.

At a closed door City Hall meeting last night it was made clear to us that the LGBT Veterans for Equality do not have 20 United States Veterans who wish to march. Rather, they presented only one supposed Veteran and a group of others carrying rainbow flags. When asked about a Color Guard, their loan Veteran replied that he wasn’t sure he could supply any more Veterans willing to march.

So... the application was for 20 veterans to march, yet there was only 1 veteran? This doesn't make any sense. I'm interested to hear the response from the LGBT Veterans for Equality and the 1 veteran who is being denied an opportunity to march in the parade.

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No surprises here!

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Both sides of this issue are completely predictable. It's all a very tiresome chess game. I come from Southie and I've boycotted this parade for decades. It's a crappy parade anyhow.

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Star Wars is Irish?

'However it is our intention to keep this an Irish Celebration, dedicated to our Men and Women serving in our Armed Forces. We will fight to keep our parade and its traditions,'

What part of the Star Wars movies were Irish? Why are people allowed to dress up as Imperial Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, slap a shamrock sticker on their chest plate, and march along the parade route?

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Bail Organa

His birth name was Bael O'Gana. He changed it due to the pressure of the (British) Empire.

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Alec Guinness: Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Well... Alec Guinness, aka Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was born in London, but Guinness is a fairly Irish sounding surname.

wikipedia:

The identity of Guinness's father has never been officially confirmed although it has been speculated that he may have been a member of the Anglo-Irish Guinness family.

Kids like Star Wars characters. I think that's what it pretty much boils down to. Is that okay with you? If you're a veteran, I'd suggest you get involved with next year's Southie parade and work toward inclusion of gay veterans. Otherwise, you're just an anonymous person like myself typing behind a keyboard but not actually affecting positive change toward inclusion regardless of orientation.

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They aren't a part of that

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They aren't a part of that parade. The storm troopers are part of the second parade that follows the official one.

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No space savers

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so this becomes the obsession of the spring season.

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What self-respecting person

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What self-respecting person of any sexuality would want to march in the nation's largest half-assed parade? Oooh! An Old-Time Trolley with a couple of old people on it! Ooh! Stormtroopers throwing out candy! Ooh! A fire truck! Ooh! Something that looks like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz from the Steelworker's Union! Ooh! 8 drunken dudes with a 30 case of Bud Lite crammed into a beat-up Camaro!

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Well according to parade

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Well according to parade organizers, this year everyone in the parade must wear a suit or a military uniform, so I hope the masonry firm SUV driver and occupants are in their Sunday best.

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Parades are for children

I agree most parades are not very interesting for adults without young children or grandchildren. Hence, kids attending may proclaim wanting to be a fireman, policeman etc. when they grow up. Gay veteran, not so much.

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Damn Straight

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Don't want my kids (if I had them) working for the Steinbrenners!

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You are correct, Scratchie

Like so much of the reader comments sections of Herald pieces, it is the soul of comity and wit, a vivid tapestry of respectful discourse and profound musings on the big issues facing the citizenry of the Athens of America. Not very often you see the words "Sharia", "pansy", and "gerbil" in the same discussion, nor such an interesting USE OF UPPER CASE FOR SHOUTING PURPOSES. It's breathtaking.

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The more apt analogy would be that you're holding

a dog show, but you're not allowing poodles because they make you uncomfortable, what with their weird hairdos and high-pitched yips and such.

"Butch dogs like sheps and Goldens only! USA! USA!" [Chugs green beer, projectile vomits onto unwitting grandpa in green glitter-covered cardboard leprechaun hat.]

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I like pit bulls as a rule,

but if they're not raised right, they become ugly and brainlessly aggressive, a menace to society that needs to be tied up, kept a safe distance away from civilized people. Now what does this remind me of?

Um, yeah except...

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That we're not talking about cats and dogs. There are lots of gay people in Ireland (and 73% of the Irish are in favor of gay marriage apparently, btw). There are even--hang onto your hats--gay people from South Boston. It's not an either/or thing. It's about whether you decide--as a family or as a community--to embrace and include people who are different from you or whether you cast them out OR make hiding their differences a condition of acceptance.

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Scrap the organizers, not the parade

Roslindale, Dorchester, Charlestown, Somerville, Arlington, Lexington, and many other communities manage to produce an annual parade without constant controversy. Take this one away from the South Boston Allied Veterans Council and find someone else to run it, please.

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Mass Equality

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doesn't push their agenda on these parades. And you know that's the truth.

I had heard such nasty things

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I had heard such nasty things about the parade, especially on uhub that I had avoided it till last year. Then a few of us went to see for ourselves and wondered what all of the fuss was about. It's not as over the top as people like to think. I was expecting rude drunks, puking everywhere and fights. Didn't see any of it. Actually had a great time and spent some time in a neighborhood I don't get to all that often. Met a few nice people while we were there. The partying young adults are respectful of the families with little kids and everyone gets along.
Is the gay organization protesting the Southie parade going to protest the North End saints feasts as well? Both are Catholic festivities.

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Thank you for posting that.

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Thank you for posting that. I worked in Southie for years and most everyone I knew was straight up and decent (gay as well as straight). I have zero interest in the parade, but find it unpleasant that people are using it to slag an entire neighborhood.

If Boston is the Athens of America then Southie is

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America's Sodom. The sin of Sodom was the mistreatment of strangers. The citizens of Sodom chose to violate what the Greeks called Xenia, the sacred rules governing the treatment of guests (a violation which began the Trojan War). Jesus preached love of ones neighbor whether the neighbor was known or not. Jesus preached a gospel of openness and welcome, not exclusion and bigotry. The ancient worthies of Southie seem to have much more in common with the ancient Sodomites than with Jesus.

Vets win again

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God Bless the South Boston Allied War Veterans. They held the line, didn't back down and won again. And the younger vets in Southie are joining them in droves.

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Yes, quite a victory

Your grandchildren will look at your sweet, sweet victory in 2014 just as we now admire the authorities who turned firehoses on civil rights protesters in Birmingham, AL in 1963. Yep, there's no question that history is going to look back on people like you with fondness and respect. No way you will ever be perceived as hateful, ignorant cavemen, no sir.

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This thread

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Is full of racist comments and bigotry! Let group all Irish American into one pool of people/ thought and make racist comments because a minority of said group has a certain view.

Then let's all act like we're morally strong and LIBERAL. Ya and you consider ALL conservatives to be racist. IDIOTS!

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Uh oh

We gots ourselves another escapee from the lunatic asylum Herald Comment Section!

Quick ... somebody get the net and tranquilizers, I'll go grab that copy of that book about What Really Happened on 9/11, a picture of Hilary Clinton, and a magic marker to bait the trap ...

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Close, but off by one group

We aren't trying to group all Irish-Americans into one pool of people. Rather, we're trying to group them into two pools. One is the group that is most like the real Irish who live in Ireland, people whose culture you are celebrating yet in fact have already accepted gays into their community without prejudice, despite being heartfelt Catholics. The other is the cavemen, the reactionaries who think they can turn back the clock to that dark time when some of your Irish-American siblings, relatives and friends had to hide their true selves out of fear of your medieval ignorance.

Wake up, you bumpkins, before the rising tide of tolerance in this country leaves you behind as the bitter old grandpa everyone has to ignore at Thanksgiving, the angry loner who can't get a date, the sorry drunk at the end of the bar muttering darkly about how the country is going to hell because we don't hate the right people anymore. You're verging on becoming a relic, but it's not to late to drag your ass into the 21st century. It's really a better place than where you came from.

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Please feel free to point out where anyone here is doing that.

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I don't know how many times it has to be pointed out. There are many Irish Americans posting here, myself included. Both of the Globe and Herald columnists who wrote columns yesterday about this are Irish American. Whining that this is racism or bigotry is just plain silly.

So...

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Are the Mary Slaves back in now?

Why can't the ONE gay vet march on July 4?

There are many July 4 parades around for the one gay vet in his group to represent the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender who fought in the Revolutionary War. Why instead beat his head against the wall for this one parade when there are so many others?

Companies are withdrawing their support from St Patricks Parade

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Companies around Boston are showing their displeasure with the South Boston St. Patricks Day Parade organizers discrimination and pulling their support. Check out the parade support page, a few days ago Harpoon, Westin and Gillette were all there, they have all pulled their support and no longer show up. Now people should pressure Sam Adams, GoDaddy and the radio stations until its just southie bars and restaurants supporting.

http://www.southbostonparade.org/index-4.html#partners

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Thats great news. Finally

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Thats great news. Finally companies are saying they are embarrassed to be associated with the parade while it continues to be discriminatory.

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In my view, on this round of

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In my view, on this round of the dispute, I'm actually saddened to say that I believe MassEquality is primarily to blame for what has happened. It's not that I personally support the parade group's policy prohibiting gays marching openly even if they wish to make it about the theme itself rather than LGBT advocacy. I don't. However, I think LGBT activists in this case blew it and needs to get their heads straightened out, pardon the pun.

Frist, I'm fully supportive of gay rights right through gay marriage. That's because I support rights, period. That includes the right of assembly. That right is implicated here because it's a parade held by a permit by a private group. Such parades get to design their own messages, including what they don't want to say. The Allied War Veterans of South Boston could choose to ban all people of Irish descent to celebrate St Patrick if they wanted. They can make it a legalise pot or gay pride parade if they wanted.

For any LGBT group to march, it's only a privilege, not a right. The LGBT community should understand that, and largely does in my view. The gay pride parade, for example, excludes: 1) Catholic groups and others that contradict that message, and 2) even gay groups who wish to advertise messages outside its intended theme especially if controversial, such as banning anti-abortion gay groups, as they have already done. That's no different than what this parade does on the flip side. By acting hypocritically and demanding, it makes the LGBT community itself appear that it wants a one way street on rights and privileges. That's unfair to both the LGBT community at large and the parade.

Second, MassEquality clearly misrepresented to the parade commission what they intended to introduce into the parade. It was exposed as not being a gay military veterans group at all. It was a sham application with only one alleged vet. Instead, they simply wanted to march LGBTs and/or supporters using that guise using rainbow flags and other gay pride advocacy. That was entirely deceptive and manipulative conduct that even took advantage of US veterans themselves. They ought to be ashamed of that.

I was actually thrilled that this impasse was going to be settled--so I thought--by watching gay vets simply celebrate being veterans and St Patrick's Day. Obviously gay Irish American veterans have served, and some have given the ultimate sacrifice. That alone would have been worth highlighting for the LGBT community, namely the sheer normalcy of so many gay vets who have served their country with some even having died for it.

Then I discover it was a sham, all intended in reality to includes a 'gay pride' contingency in the parade in order to 'hijack' it, if you will. It's not like the LGBT community can't find 20 vets to march given what's at stake here had it been properly planned honestly...talk about a chance blown. All due respect for his military service to the one person who masked this sham, but that man should have also considered his brothers in arms too along with his brothers and sisters in the LGBT community once MassEquality sought to misuse veterans for its own ends.

I hope next year (or even by this year if possible) that the LGBT community ensures an honest engagement with the parade with a group that: 1) wishes to participate for its actual purpose (celebrating Irish and St Pats and vets and civil service, etc) simply *as* LGBTs and not *because* they are LGBTs, and 2) puts forth an honest application toward that effect. After all, had they done that, the ball was moving in the LGBT community's favor to resolve this once and for all.