Co-authored with Patrick Craine
BOSTON, March 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade have rescinded their controversial invitation to a homosexual advocacy group, saying they believe the group’s application was a “ploy” made under “false pretenses.”
The news comes days after a Catholic school said it would withdraw its iconic float and school band from the March 16 celebration because of the decision.
“In the footsteps of St. Patrick, [Immaculate Heart of Mary School] does not condone and will not appear to condone the homosexual lifestyle,” Brother Thomas Dalton, the school’s principal, said in a statement reported by the Telegram.
“This float has become the Icon of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston appearing in all types of media whenever the parade is mentioned,” said Dalton. “The familiar scene of St. Patrick joyfully giving his blessing to the crowds has, sad to say, come to an end.”
“We must stand firm with the Church which states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, that 'homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity' and 'are intrinsically disordered,' ” Brother Dalton said.
The parade has historically upheld a “no sexual orientation” policy, meaning they bar participants from promoting homosexuality.
News reports on Saturday indicated that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which organizes the parade, had reached a deal with the homosexual lobby group MassEquality to allow its affiliate, LGBT Veterans for Equality, to march in the event “openly and honestly” in order to identify themselves as homosexuals.
However, on Monday the veterans council issued a statement saying they intend “to keep this parade a family friendly event.”
“It is our belief that the application submitted to us by LGBT Veterans for Equality was a ploy by them to enter this parade under false pretenses and is hereby denied,” they stated.
According to the statement, the homosexual group’s application had said they would have 20 veterans in the delegation.
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“After some consideration, the Council agreed that Any Veteran should be allowed to march, regardless of sexual orientation,” the statement reads. “This application was conditionally approved as submitted with the understanding that These 20 Veterans can march but no sexual orientation would be displayed.”
But at a meeting Sunday night, the organizers said, “it was made clear to us that the LGBT Veterans for Equality do not have 20 United States Veterans who wish to march. Rather, they presented only one supposed Veteran and a group of others carrying rainbow flags. When asked about a Color Guard, their loan Veteran replied that he wasn’t sure he could supply any more Veterans willing to march.”
“It is our intention to keep this an Irish Celebration, dedicated to our Men and Women serving in our Armed Forces. We will fight to keep our parade and its traditions,” they said. “We will not allow any group to damage the Integrity of the historic event or our reputation as a safe and fun filled day for all. We strive to hold the largest and most entertaining St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Country.”
As a result of the organizers’ decision, Immaculate Heart of Mary School says it will join the parade.
Brother Dalton explained that homosexuals flagrantly trying to push their way into the faith-based, family-oriented parade is not new.
As far back as 1991 homosexual marchers wanted to participate in the South Boston event. After being notified of this at the time, Brother Dalton recalled telling parade organizer John Hurley, “If they're in, we're out.”
In 1992, Massachusetts courts ruled that parade organizers must allow homosexual groups to march in the parade.
The organizers responded in 1995 by making participation in the parade “by invitation only,” and said the event would focus on commemorating the role of traditional families in Irish history.
The US Supreme Court overturned the Massachusetts court decision when it ruled later that year that state courts had violated the parade sponsors’ First Amendment rights when they forced organizers to allow the homosexual groups to participate.
A parent with eight children who attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School and who himself had portrayed St. Patrick a number of times on the school's float, told the Telegram, “This parade is meant to honor [St. Patrick] and should not be used as political leverage for any special interest group.”
According to the South Boston St. Patrick's Parade website, the event is the second-largest parade in the country and is viewed by nearly 600,000 to 1 million people every year.
Philip J. Wuschke Jr, Parade Organizer
P.O. Box 351, South Boston, MA 02127
Email: via website