Boston is a weird place. It's a very liberal city, but it's also a total fucking hotbed of racism. The difference between racism in Boston and racism in, say, Tampa, is that nobody in Boston talks about racism. Boston is such a Catholic city that it refuses to talk about any of its problems. Along those same lines, Boston politics caused Massachusetts to become the first state in the union to legalize gay marriage, but LGBT groups still aren't allowed to take part in one of the city's most beloved traditions. AP's Big Story says:
Boston's mayor says he will boycott the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade unless gay groups are allowed to participate.
Mayor Martin Walsh says he's trying to broker a deal with parade organizers to allow a group of gay military veterans to march... John "Wacko" Hurley said "it's final" that gay groups will continue to be excluded, pointing to a unanimous 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing organizers to exclude gay and lesbian groups.
Let me supply some context for people who've never been to Boston. First: St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in Boston culture. The city shuts down. People who accidentally wear orange on St. Patrick's day are harangued (or beaten) in the street by total strangers. Second: Walsh is a brand-new mayor, and this is a also big deal. Until last month, Tom Menino was mayor of Boston for approximately three hundred years. (Okay, that's a wee bit of an exaggeration: He was actually first elected in 1994.) Menino was the classic party shill, the kind of go-along-to-get-along guy who puts his head down and hopes he doesn't get noticed.
So Walsh threatening to boycott the St. Patrick's parade is tantamount to treason for some Bostonians. The fact that the mayor of one of the nation's largest cities is standing up against some guy who is proudly nicknamed "Wacko" is the height of political intrigue in Boston. Even though "Wacko" is clinging to an outdated Supreme Court ruling that sounds practically antediluvian twenty years later, he's also probably got a strong traditional Catholic base on his side. I bet there are some uncomfortable conversations happening in Boston right now. Good on Mayor Walsh for standing up for gay veterans.