FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, firstname.lastname@example.org
MassEquality Responds to Mayor Walsh's Decision to Sit Out 2014 South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade
The statement below can be attributed to Kara Coredini, Executive Director of MassEquality:
“MassEquality is pleased that Mayor Walsh has kept his promise to sit out the 2014 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade since parade organizers continue to ban LGBT groups from marching openly.
It can be difficult for people who are not LGBT to understand how important it is for LGBT people to be able to be open and honest about who they are and how wounding it can be to be asked to be not too out. MassEquality had hoped that a small group of LGBT veterans that we work with would have been able to march behind their standard – a rainbow flag – and a banner identifying them as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans associated with MassEquality. That hope was informed by what many GLIB marchers told us would begin some healing of the wounds created by the harassment and violence they experienced when they marched openly decades ago.
As of this morning, parade organizers were quoted in the media continuing to insist that LGBT marchers hide their sexual orientation. No other group is asked to march without a banner and their standard – not the police, firefighters, or the Irish. A double standard is the status quo and does not represent progress.
While we are disappointed that we did not get to march this year as we had hoped, we thank the Mayor for championing full inclusion all the way until the end. We are encouraged by today’s small step forward with the inclusion of a ‘diversity’ float, and we hope that it is a sign that next year applications from LGBT groups, like MassEquality, that wish to join the celebration of Irish heritage and the service and sacrifice of veterans, will be accepted on their own merits and the decades long ban can finally be lifted.”
MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.