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Gay Group May Join Boston's St. Patrick's Parade, Court Says

March 12, 1992| Associated Press

BOSTON — A judge ruled Wednesday that a gay pride group may march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, overturning a ban imposed by parade sponsors.

Judge Hiller Zobel of Suffolk Superior Court said the activists had given adequate assurance that they would not disrupt the parade, which usually draws about 10,000 marchers and hundreds of thousands of spectators.

The homosexual-rights group agreed to have no more than 25 participants, carry a single banner and distribute no flyers or other materials.

Parade sponsors said they would abide by the court's decision.

"They don't want to create any more hard feelings. We don't want to foment difficulty between these two groups," said Chester Darling, attorney for the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which sponsors the parade.

The annual parade will take place Sunday, two days before St. Patrick's Day, in heavily Irish South Boston.

The Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Pride Committee had argued that the parade receives about $8,000 in city money and so is, in effect, a public event and should be open to all groups.

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