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Boston's Gay Veterans Invited To March in St. Patrick's Day Parade

OutVets founder Bryan Bishop wears the logo of his group while speaking in Boston. The group has been invited to participate in the city's privately-run St. Patrick's Day parade.

The organizers of the privately run St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston have reversed course and will invite a group of LGBTQ veterans to participate in this year's event.

The announcement came in a terse Twitter message. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council said it had signed an "acceptance letter" to allow OutVets to join the march.

It was not immediately clear whether OutVets would accept the invitation.

"We are in receipt of a letter from the Allied War Veterans Council and are actively reviewing it," said Dee Dee Edmondson, an attorney for the group, told the Associated Press.

As the Two-Way reported, the parade organizers had come under heavy criticism for barring the LGBTQ group this year after the gay veterans had marched in the event the past two years. Organizers had objected to the group's display of the rainbow flag, the traditional symbol of gay pride.

Many high-profile politicians, including Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, had withdrawn their support from the parade and said they would not march unless the gay vets were included, according to the Boston Globe.

OutVets is not the only veterans group at odds with the parade organizers. A group called Veterans for Peace has been barred from the event for several years.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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