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Boston's Gay Veterans Will March In St. Patrick's Day Parade

Mar 10, 2017
Originally published on March 13, 2017 5:43 am

Updated: March 11, 2:46 p.m. ET

According to member station WBUR, the OutVet group has accepted the invitation to march in the parade.

The organizers of the privately run St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston have reversed course and will invite a group of LGBTQ veterans to participate in this year's event.

The announcement came in a terse Twitter message. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council said it had signed an "acceptance letter" to allow OutVets to join the march.

Member station WBUR reports a lawyer for the group announced Friday night that the members had accepted the invitation after reviewing it.

"We are honored and humbled by all the outpouring of support that has been displayed for our LGBTQ veterans — who are one of the most unrepresented demographics in our veterans community," lawyer Dee Dee Edmondson said in a statement.

As the Two-Way reported, the parade organizers had come under heavy criticism for barring the LGBTQ group this year after the gay veterans had marched in the event the past two years. Organizers had objected to the group's display of the rainbow flag, the traditional symbol of gay pride.

Many high-profile politicians, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, had withdrawn their support from the parade and said they would not march unless the gay vets were included, according to the Boston Globe.

OutVets is not the only veterans group at odds with the parade organizers. A group called Veterans for Peace has been barred from the event for several years.

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