After Court Loss, Mayor Marty Walsh to March in St. Patrick’s Parade
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is not letting a loss in federal court prevent him from marching in Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Officials in City Hall confirmed to Boston via email that Walsh will march in the parade for the second straight year even though his administration lost a court battle over shortening the parade route.
“While I believe that a shorter route would have been in the best interest of public safety, I respect the judge’s decision and look
forward to working with the parade organizers to make this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade safe for all families and spectators,” said Walsh in an emailed statement.
The longtime organizers of the parade, Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, won an emergency restraining order in federal court on Tuesday to prevent the city from permanently shortening the parade route to its now officially temporary 2015 path. US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled that the attempt to shorten the parade route was a violation of the organizer’s First Amendment rights. The parade route followed a shortened route in 2015 because so many South Boston streets were buried in snow at the time.
Police officials argued in court that a shortened route would be better for public safety because it would contain the event to a limited area instead of covering nearly all of South Boston, and also require fewer police officers to manage.
Parade organizers suggested the move to shorten the length of the parade was political payback for their feud with City Hall over allowing gays and lesbians to march in the parade. Police Commissioner William Evans denied the accusation.
The Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston permitted gay and lesbian groups to march in the parade for the first time in 2015, a move that meant Walsh became the first Boston mayor to participate in the parade since the Supreme Court ruled it was constitutional to ban them from marching.