Published Mar 15, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MASSEQUALITY RESPONSE TO RUMORS THAT LGBT VETERANS MAY BE MARCHING WITH MAYOR WALSH IN SOUTH BOSTON ST. PATRICK’S PARADE
The statement below can be attributed to Kara Coredini, Executive Director of MassEquality:
“MassEquality is proud of the role we have played in advancing the public dialogue about the inclusion of LGBT people in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Meeting face-to-face and engaging in a direct conversation with parade organizers was a historic first, and we hope it bodes well for LGBT groups to have their applications to march openly accepted next year.
MassEquality has been clear from the beginning of this discussion that we would march openly and honestly or not at all. It may be hard for people who are not LGBT to appreciate exactly how important it is for LGBT people to be open about who we are and how deeply wounding it is to be asked not to be too open.
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.
MassEquality has been asked for a response to the rumors today that parade organizers may allow LGBT veterans to march with Mayor Walsh as long as they do not identify themselves as LGBT. While we respect the decision of any individual to march with Mayor Walsh, MassEquality will not march unless veterans can identify themselves as LGBT, behind a banner and flying their standard. 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.
We appreciate that the Mayor is committed to marching only if the LGBT community can march openly, and that he is still fighting for that. We hope that is the case tomorrow.”