We realize that other than the snow changing the parade route, the usually controversial St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been under the radar this year. Even with the news that OUTVETS – an organized group of LGBT vets – had their application approved a few months back by the parade organizers, the Allied War Vets, there really has been little spotlight on the fact that it is the first openly gay group to march since the Supreme Court ruling more than 20 years ago.
Congressman Seth Moulton announced he will be marching with OUTVETS on Sunday. “This is very significant,” Moulton said in an interview. “I believe gay rights is the civil rights of our generation. I’m proud to be a veteran, so it made sense to march with them in the parade.”
Mayor Marty Walsh – who did not march last year – will be marching this year. According to an article by Andrew Ryan in the Boston Globe, Marty Walsh said, “It’s a huge step. Society has changed. Southie has changed. Boston has changed. . . . I think this opens the door to putting years of controversy behind everybody.”
Senator Linda Dorcena Forry who has never marched told CIS that she plans on marching this year. Governor Charlie Baker will also participate.
This year, The St. Patrick’s Day Peace Parade, which normally follows the Allied War Veterans Parade, has been canceled.
So 2015 is the year South Boston will quietly usher in a new era of inclusion. It’s about time.
UPDATE: With OUTVETS paving the way, Boston Pride will also be marching in this year’s parade. Boston Pride is a gay rights advocacy group that produces events and activities to help achieve equality and respect.