Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick's parade

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BOSTON (AP) — Boston's mayor is welcoming the announcement that a group representing the gay community will be allowed to march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade for the first time.

Mayor Martin Walsh had boycotted the event last year because the group was excluded.

The sponsors of the parade say they will allow the group OutVets to march in the parade on March 15th. The group represents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans. It took part in the city's Veterans Day parade last month.

The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council had long resisted the inclusion of gay groups. And it was backed by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995. But the group last night voted 5-4 to let the gay veterans' organization march. Still, some members of the council continue to fight the decision. One says the vote was illegal because there was no quorum.

A spokeswoman for the mayor says he's "thrilled" to hear that the 2015 parade will be "an inclusive event."

The founder of OutVets, Bryan Bishop, says he's ecstatic." He says, "We're marching as veterans who happen to be gay."

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APPHOTO BX101: FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2014 file photo, retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Bullen, of Westborough, Mass., left, holds an American flag as U.S. Army veteran Ian Ryan, of Dennis, Mass., front right, rolls up an OutVets banner after marching with a group representing LGBT military veterans in a Veterans Day parade in Boston. The organizers of Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day parade voted to allow the group of gay veterans to march in the 2015 parade, a turnaround for the organization that has long resisted the inclusion of gays. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) (11 Nov 2014)

<<APPHOTO BX101 (11/11/14)££

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