Thursday, March 09, 2017

USA : Calls to boycott Boston St Patrick’s Day parade as gay veterans group banned from marching

The Mayor of Boston has called for an all-out boycott of the St Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston after organisers banned a group of gay veterans from marching.

OUTVETS cannot march in the 2017 parade, having done so for the last two years, and the decision was met with opposition from a number of political figures.

According to the Boston Globe, Mayor Martin Walsh, Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Edward Markey and other elected officials have called for a boycott of the parade unless the decision is reversed.

In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Mayor Walsh said the decision would not be tolerated, and Boston remains a “fully inclusive” city.

“I will not tolerate discrimination in our city of any form. We are one Boston, which means we are a fully inclusive city. I will not be marching in the parade unless this is resolved. Anyone who values what our city stands for should do the same.”

Many companies are also reconsidering their involvement with the parade, such as Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch.

In a statement, they expressed their disappointment at the decision to exclude OUTVETS.

“At Anheurser-Busch, we value equality and believe diversity enriches our workforce and our world. We have been proud to support the LGBTQ community for more than 20 years, not only through our employment practices and market campaigns but also through our associations with GLAAD and PRIDE events across the country. We are disappointed to learn that the OUTVETS, who have proudly served this country, have been denied entry to the South Boston St Patrick’s Day parade. We are evaluating our participation in this event and urge the parade organisers to reverse their decision.”

In a lengthy Facebook post, OUTVETS have issued a response to the recently enacted ban on the group saying it is a sad day for the LGBTQ community and for “Veterans of all backgrounds”.

Many people have taken to Twitter to express their anger at the decision and to show their support for the gay veterans group.

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