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  • Boston Mayor Wants Gay Groups In St. Pat's Parade

    BOSTON (AP) _ Boston's mayor says he will boycott the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade unless gay groups are allowed to participate.

  • Deal Held Up Over Gays Marching in St. Patrick's Boston Parade

    BOSTON - A gay rights advocacy group said Monday that it is pushing for gay people to be allowed to march "openly and honestly" in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade, but an agreement has not been reached with parade organizers.

  • Gay Marriage Foe to March in NYC LGBT Pride Parade

    The Catholic League will be allowed to march with an anti-gay-marriage banner in New York City's annual Pride parade, organizers said on the heels of a St. Patrick's Day parade prohibition on gay-rights signs and subsequent boycott that drew widespread attention.

  • Gay Veterans Won't March In Boston Parade

    BOSTON (AP) — A gay rights advocacy group says it is ending its efforts to get organizers of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade to allow gay military veterans to march.

  • Mayor De Blasio Won’t be in NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) says he won’t be marching in the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade.

  • New York, Boston Mayors Back LGBT Groups, Reject St. Patrick's Day Parades

    (CNN) -- The mayors of two major cities have opted out of marching in their cities' St. Patrick's Day parades, in what they call a show of support for gay groups that have historically been excluded from the events.

  • News Highlight for March 12, 2014, Southies React to Parade Flap

    Jack Reid and Larry Turner live comfortably in their Wilton Manors home. They left South Boston after 65 years because of intolerance.

    “We were driven out,” said Reid as he discussed his relocation to Florida.

    The couple saw first hand the appalling treatment of gay men in the streets of South Boston. A longtime enclave of Irish, Italian and, more recently, Lithuanian and Albanian immigrants, “Southie” is in the news again as the neighborhood’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade approaches.

    Reid, 81, a first generation Irish American with dual citizenship, recalled the last time gays and lesbians marched in the parade, which celebrates Irish pride and culture.

    “People threw bottles at them and called them ‘faggots,’ Reid said. “That’s when I knew we had to get out of there. I wanted to shoot them.”

    Reid and his longtime partner settled in South Florida, but have not forgotten their roots. They commend Boston mayor Martin Walsh for his willingness to work a deal with parade organizers to allow a gay veteran group to participate, but wonder if it’s safe.

    One of those organizers, John “Wacko” Hurley said the LGBT group, MassEquality is not welcome because, “they got an agenda we don’t want.” Hurley went on to tell the Boston Herald, “They got their own parade in June.”

    South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is traditionally held in conjunction with the Evacuation Day holiday, which celebrates the removal of British forces from Dorchester Heights.

    The South Boston controversy dates to early 1990s and reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which handed parade organizers a landmark victory. The court ruled that although the parade was on public streets, it was a privately organized event protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The government could not interfere to prevent organizers from prohibiting gays and lesbians or any other group.

    While acceptance of LGBT people has progressively improved over the years, Reid looks back on his time in Southie with some regrets.

    “We survived,” Reid said. “But we couldn’t be ourselves. We had to hide who we were. We couldn’t be real.”