BOSTON (AP) — The organizers of Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade have voted to allow a group representing gay veterans to march next year, a dramatic turnaround for an organization that has long resisted the inclusion of gays.
The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which won a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 upholding their right to ban gay groups from the annual parade that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, voted 5-4 Monday night to allow the group OutVets to march.
OutVets represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans.
OutVets founder and U.S. Air Force veteran Bryan Bishop called the decision “awesome.” He says his group has no political or social agenda.
Veterans’ council Commander Brian Mahoney says OutVets is being allowed to march because of their military service, not sexual orientation.