The Latest: Parade organizers say gay group not banned

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2017 5:43 PM
The Latest: Parade organizers say gay group not banned

BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on a gay veterans group's efforts to march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade (all times local):

5 p.m.

Organizers of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade say they have not officially banned a gay veterans group from the event.

The Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston says in a statement Thursday that it told the OutVets gay veterans group that the rainbow on its banners and logo violate the code of conduct for the parade, which prohibits advertisement or display of one's sexual orientation.

The council also says OutVets did not submit its parade application before the deadline. The group will meet Friday to reconsider a vote on OutVets' application.

The veterans council says it routinely bars controversial groups. It says it is accepting of all people but will not permit messages that conflict with the parade's celebration of country, community and the Catholic faith.

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1:45 p.m.

The gay veterans group barred from marching in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade later this month is thanking its supporters.

OutVets has marched in the parade the past two years after the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council in 2015 reversed a decades long ban on gay organizations participating in the annual event. But the council voted Tuesday to bar OutVets. OutVets says it was told it had broken a parade rule by carrying a rainbow banner.

OutVets said in a statement Thursday that it is "humbled and moved by the outpouring of support from so many of our elected officials, our brother and sister veterans, and many, many others" around the council's decision.

The pressure on parade organizers, including a pullout by one major sponsor, has prompted them to schedule a meeting Friday to reconsider the vote to exclude OutVets.

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7:30 a.m.

The organizers of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade have scheduled an emergency meeting to reconsider their vote to bar a gay veterans group from participating.

The vote Tuesday to bar OutVets drew immediate condemnation from high-profile politicians.

Ed Flynn, a member of the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the parade scheduled for March 19, says the emergency meeting will take place Friday. Flynn voted to allow Outvets in.

Members of the council and OutVets met Wednesday but could not resolve the impasse.

OutVets was first allowed to participate in the parade in 2015. OutVets founder Bryan Bishop says he was told the group was barred this year because they broke parade rules by carrying a rainbow banner, which the council considers a symbol of gay sexuality.