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Boston’s St. Pat’s Parade To Feature Gay Group

Saturday Mar 1, 2014
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Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks to media in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Walsh will boycott St. Patrick’s Day parades to protest policies on gay groups. Walsh said this week he’s trying to broker a deal with his city’s parade organizers to allow a group of gay military veterans to march. The son of Irish immigrants said that allowing gay groups to participate is "long overdue."
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks to media in Boston, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. Walsh will boycott St. Patrick’s Day parades to protest policies on gay groups. Walsh said this week he’s trying to broker a deal with his city’s parade organizers to allow a group of gay military veterans to march. The son of Irish immigrants said that allowing gay groups to participate is "long overdue."  (Source:AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON -- A marriage equality group says Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is easing its two-decade ban on gay organizations.

A MassEquality official said Saturday a group of gay military veterans can march under its banner as part of a tentative deal brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. But marchers from the gay-rights group would not be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that refer to sexual orientation.

Negotiators will work out final details in the coming week.

Walsh had threatened to boycott the city annual parade unless gay groups are allowed to march. He told The Boston Globe the agreement is a breakthrough.

A spokeswoman for Walsh did not immediately comment to The Associated Press. A message left for a parade organizer was not immediately returned.

The parade draws an estimated one million spectators to South Boston every year.

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