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Mayor skips Boston parade over gay participation

March 16, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says he will not participate in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers are excluding gay groups.

Walsh said in an email on Sunday he’s disappointed he will not take part in the Sunday event because parade plans prevent all Boston residents from participating fully.

Walsh and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch tried to broker a deal that would have allowed a gay group to march, but the negotiations broke down. The mayor said the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations honor Irish history that he says has been shaped by the fight against oppression.

Lead parade organizer Philip Wuschke Jr. said gay people are not prohibited from marching. He said organizers do not want the parade to turn into a demonstration for a particular group.

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