While a group of gay veterans was not allowed to march in Boston’s St Patrick’s Day parade March 16, evangelist Scott Lively, who is facing trial for “crimes against humanity” for his alleged support of Uganda’s anti-gay law, took part in the event, Pink News reports.
Boston Mayor Martin J Walsh, along with the Boston Beer Company, skipped this year’s parade as talks broke down between organizers and a gay rights group, MassEquality, that was pressing to have an LGBT contingent participate in the event.
“The LGBT bullies, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, are giving the St Paddy’s Day Parade organizers a hard time for keeping the parade a family-friendly event, but they are standing strong for family values and not bowing to intimidation,” Lively is quoted as saying in a statement. “The media is predictably crying ‘discrimination,’ but thank God the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the parade organizers have the constitutional right to exclude anyone they please.”
In a case that pitted Boston’s parade organizers against the Irish-American Gay Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, which had its march application rejected, the court ruled in 1995 that the privately run event was protected under First Amendment free-speech rights and could exclude or accept any group, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
Still, as controversy swirled around both this year’s Boston and New York parades, a diversity float quietly made its way into the Boston event, a move that was brokered between longstanding parade sponsors, the Allied War Veterans Council, and a group of South Boston friends.