Organizers of the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade have reversed their highly controversial decision to ban a gay veterans group from marching this year.
The Boston Globe reports that organizers had voted to ban the group, OutVets, this year.
The Allied War Veterans Council were then faced with intense backlash as Boston mayor Marty Walsh said he wouldn’t march as well as the Massachusetts’ Republican governor Charlie Baker. Several sponsors for the event also backed out of the parade due to the vote.
Now, the Allied War Council held an emergency meeting on Friday (March 10), to put an end to the backlash and made the decision to allow the group to march.
OutVets had previously marched in 2015 and 2016, however, one of the parade organizers said the group’s logo, containing a gay pride rainbow, violated parade rules which ban a “portrayal of sexuality.”
The group released a statement on Facebook, saying: “OutVets is in receipt of a letter from the Allied War Veterans Council. We are actively reviewing it.”
“This is an overwhelming situation for not only OutVets but our Veterans, their families and the LGBT community. It is equally overwhelming for the many supporters and champions for equality and inclusion who, once again, are challenged with the spectre of bigotry and discrimination.”
Numerous other cities and towns from around the world have now invited them to be part of their celebrations and the group have also experienced a huge surge in applications for membership.
Despite receiving an invitation, OutVets haven’t yet decided if they’ll accept it.