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Reacting to pro-family pressure: Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade restricts banners of “gay” contingents. A step in the right direction!
LGBT “Boston Pride” unit unrecognizable to most onlookers.
But boycotted by Catholic groups. Parade was mostly military and secular.
Next year: Will parade go back to being family-friendly?
POSTED: March 24, 2016
Reacting to an avalanche of emails and phone calls stemming from nearly 6,000 pro-family Catholics and others signing an online petition, the organizers of the March 20 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade restricted the two “gay” contingents in the parade from displaying any LGBT-identifying banners or other paraphernalia besides a primary banner identifying themselves.
As a result, the “Boston Pride” LGBT group of marchers and their decorated trolley car was virtually unrecognized by the crowds on the street as a “gay” group. (Boston Pride organizes the annual “Gay Pride Week” activities.) One local resident who lives on the parade route told us he looked for it from his window and never saw it. The other group, “OutVets” was more recognizable because of their primary banner and one partial rainbow flag they sneaked in.
As we reported earlier, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts and MassResistance called on pro-family people to demand that the organizers remove the name of “St. Patrick” from the parade because the inclusion of anti-Catholic homosexual groups made it impossible to honor a Catholic saint. An online petition was also set up, generating thousands of emails from angry Catholics to the parade organizers. Nearly 6,000 people responded – not only from Massachusetts but across the U.S. and as far away as Europe, Australia, South America, and India.
Catholic Action League’s executive director C.J. Doyle described the presence of the homosexual groups as "an affront to everything Saint Patrick believed in and labored for throughout his life." He added, “Saint Patrick's Day parades were not established to promote public acceptance of the mortal sin of sodomy… These groups are shamelessly exploiting the name of a Catholic saint to advance their anti-Catholic ideology."
Instead, said Doyle, just call it the “Evacuation Day” Parade. The parade is now officially known as the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day / Evacuation Day Parade -- also commemorating the Evacuation of the British army from Boston on March 17, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. It has always had a large number of military contingents, and is organized by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.
Organizers react to pro-family pressure
At first, the parade organizers answered many of the emails from Catholics with curt and very rude comments. But later they became more polite. As one member of the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council told MassResistance, things began to change as they saw the volume of outrage.
As the parade date neared, the organizers felt they could not simply “dis-invite” the two LGBT groups because the former pro-“gay” Council Commander (who recently stepped down) had specifically invited them. So they decided to make the groups strictly adhere to the rules that no ancillary banners or other paraphernalia advertising homosexuality (or any political or social cause) would be allowed. We were told that the two groups were checked as they lined up that morning, just to be sure.
Boycott this year by Catholic groups
Unlike previous years, the parade this year had virtually nothing Catholic about it. For 25 years the “trademark” float of the parade has been the large float of Saint Patrick blessing the children from the Immaculate Heart of Mary School. But starting last year, they pulled out, as did others. There were no identifiable Catholic contingents at all, except for one liberal Catholic high school from New Hampshire that brought its marching band.
Instead, the parade was dominated by units representing military, police, business, unions, and other secular organizations. Of the 125 contingents we observed, only 11 were schools or youth group marchers, 5 were groups of politicians, and 3 were Protestant churches. There were a few secular Irish groups.
And with the Catholic groups out, a lot of the funding for the parade disappeared. Usually, conservative Catholic businessmen write checks for the parade. But not this year. We were told by a Council member that they were badly hurting for money. One of the parade contingents was a group of young people passing buckets for donations.
Not covered by the mainstream media
Not surprising, neither of the two major newspapers, nor the local TV news stations would report on this controversy, despite regular press releases from the Catholic Action League. The Boston Globe, in particular, focused on the wonderful new “diversity” that the homosexual groups represented, and, of course, that “there’s no turning back now.”
Next year . . . back to sanity?
We were also told that next year, with different Council members running the parade, it’s likely that “gay” groups won’t be allowed – in line with the 1995 US Supreme Court decision. That would likely anger the Mayor of Boston and cause another big fight with his administration, but (as of now) the Council seems willing to do it, we were told.
The fact that the homosexual groups took a step backwards, so to speak, and could not march with their gaudy in-your-face rainbows was surely upsetting to them. We’ll take a victory any place we can get it – and we’ll be fighting even harder next year!