The following statement can be attributed to Kara Coredini, Executive Director of MassEquality:
We are extremely disappointed with the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council’s decision yesterday to continue their long history of banning LGBT people from marching openly in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We were under the impression that negotiations were positive and ongoing, and we were surprised by the abrupt and hostile tone of the Parade organizers’ rejection.
We know from experience that change comes through conversation and dialogue. We were encouraged to have an historic opportunity to meet face-to-face with Parade organizers to discuss a contingent involving LGBT veterans, and we did so with open hearts and open minds. We regret that the Parade organizers shut down conversation before an agreement could be finalized. MassEquality represents LGBT people across the lifespan. We were proud to work with a group of LGBT veterans to end the Department of Defense’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and those same veterans would have been proud to represent the end of the Parade’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Throughout this process, we have heard from many people with diverse perspectives about this Parade. Stories from those who marched openly and at great personal risk in this very Parade decades ago touched us deeply. LGBT people should never have to silence who they are to be safe, to be equal, or to celebrate other parts of their identities.
MassEquality is marching toward justice, and we remain committed to full equality and inclusion for everyone in our LGBT communities. We are grateful to all of the elected leaders who declined to march in the Parade because of its history of exclusion. And we are grateful to Mayor Walsh for taking that leadership one step further by pushing for dialogue and reaching toward resolution.
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.