BOSTON, M.A. (WNCT) – Leaders of a gay veterans group said they will not be able to participate in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade due to a small piece on their uniform.
The group is called OutVets. Executive Director Bryan Bishop said the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council said the group couldn’t march in the parade if they wore the rainbow patch on their uniform.
The rainbow is traditionally a symbol of gay pride.
Bishop said the group has marched in the parade for the past two years with the rainbow on their uniform without any issue.
“I don’t think they even considered what our core values are. They can’t see beyond this. That’s the issue – they cannot see beyond this. They can’t look and say: ‘you know, these guys are coming together to actually form an organization that helps people.’ It would be different if we were all half in the bag, hobbling down the street, you know, throwing out gay propaganda, you know sitting there trying to push an agenda, you know being outwardly just vile,” Bishop said.
He said he believes the group is being targeted and overlooked.
“It infuriates me to look at the veterans that I know that, gay and straight, who have served this country with valor and honor and distinction and just because you’re a veteran who happens to be gay your service is somehow less than someone who is not of the LGBT community or someone who’s not gay,” he said.
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, Democratic U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said they won’t march if the group isn’t allowed to participate.