Lynch Says He Can Solve Gay Vets-St. Patrick’s Parade Dispute

OUTVETS was banned from St. Patrick's Day parade

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said he can resolve a ban on gay veterans in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Stephen F. Lynchsays he has a way to resolve the dispute over a gay veterans group being banned from South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“I’m going to try to resolve this, that’s my position,” Lynch told Boston Herald Radio. “I think I will be able to.”

The dispute began when the Allied War Veterans of South Boston, the parade’s organizer, voted to exclude OUTVETS. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Gov. Charlie Baker and others have threatened to boycott the parade because of the decision.

OUTVETS and Boston Pride, another LGBT group, have marched in the last two parades.

Lynch, who is a native of South Boston and still lives in the neighborhood, said, “There’s no reason for this. These young men and women serve this country and they have a right to march like every other veteran.”

But a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found organizers are within their rights to exclude groups with whom they disagreed.

Lynch did not give any specifics on how he would resolve the conflict. But he did say if he can’t, “I regret that I cannot accept the invitation to march.”

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