It wouldn't be Saint Patrick's Day in the 21st century U.S. without a parade controversy. As has been the case in Boston for well over 20 years, even after a unanimous Supreme Court decision affirmed the parade sponsors' position in a 1995 ruling, it concerns the exclusion of what the conservative, social values-oriented group Mass Resistance charitably describes as the "gay pride parade" element.
Apparently, the "gay pride" element thought that the arrival of new Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who replaced Tom Menino after Menino's 21 years at the helm in January, would be their opportunity to intimidate their way into the parade. It didn't work. Of particular note is how aggressive and hostile reporters at both local newspapers, the ultraliberal Globe and the supposedly center-right Herald, were towards the parade's organizers and sponsors (links are in original; some bolds are mine):
Organizers stand up to pressure by politicians and media to include hardcore homosexual group
As we reported last week, the parade organizers had been pressured for over a month, and recently their sponsors were even contacted. As of last week, all of the major sponsors and politicians had announced they were boycotting the parade in solidarity with the homosexual groups according to statements that were released.
The vicious intimidation tactics lasted right up to the morning of the parade.
Many people don't realize how enormous the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade is. This year the parade was nearly two hours long. There were groups marching from as far away as Florida. It typically attracts over ¾ million people, and this year there were at least that many.
It is not only a pro-family Catholic event but also a military celebration. Organized by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the parade celebrates Evacuation Day, the day the British were driven out of Boston during the Revolutionary War in 1776, which, like St. Patrick's Day, is also March 17. Thus it includes dozens of US military contingents and veterans groups of all types.
The religious, festive, historical, and military aspects of the parade give it a special old-fashioned atmosphere that attracts families from all over New England.
The organizers simply don't want to mix in the "gay pride parade" element. One need only look at photos from any "gay pride" parade (here or elsewhere) to see what you can eventually expect to have. But the politicians and the media decided that this year they would not take "no" for an answer.
Relentless and obsessive media attacks
During the weeks leading up to day of the parade, virtually all of the newspaper coverage focused on the exclusions of the homosexual activists. The Boston Globe was particularly relentless.
It went to some absurd extremes. At one point, the Globe surprised us by printing a strong letter by a Catholic school principal supporting the parade organizers. Then a few days later they published an editorial personally attacking the principal's Catholic religious views, and of course, letters attacking him also.
The morning of the parade, the Globe's only "parade news" was a full-page article (that began on Page 1) about two homosexual activists putting "rainbow" colors on one of the floats for the parade, in an effort to sneak in the homosexual message. Also on the morning of the parade -- not to be outdone -- the Boston Herald's columnist Margery Eagan, a tireless anti-Catholic, wrote a particularly venomous article naming and celebrating the sponsors who had dropped out of this "toxic parade." In the article, Eagan admitted that the businesses were contacted "by the Boston Herald" to intimidate them and inform them that their names would be in the newspaper.
Let's stop there. A newspaper intimidates businesses who could very well be advertisers. Mass Resistance is right. These folks are obsessed.
It gets ugly: Mayor of Boston screams & curses at parade organizer
Newly elected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a longtime pro-homosexual advocate, put enormous effort to force, harass, and coerce the parade organizers to buckle under and let open homosexual activist floats and banners into the parade. But the organizers stood behind the 1995 US Supreme Court ruling that allows them to include or exclude anyone they choose.
The Friday night before the parade it got ugly. Mayor Walsh and parade organizer Philip Wuschke, Jr. were both on stage at the South Boston Citizens Association. According to an eyewitness we spoke to, Walsh approached Wuschke and began berating him. Walsh told him he'd better agree to include the homosexuals. When Wuschke said no, Mayor went up to his face and screamed "You'd better not f--- me over on this. Do you hear me? Don't f--- with me." And the Mayor continued a profanity laden diatribe until someone stepped in and separated them.
Walsh is a former union organizer and local union president and is probably used to getting his way. But Wuschke is also a union member, and had no trouble telling the Mayor what he could do with his threats.
Margery Eagan's column at the Herald is particularly disappointing, especially her characterization of the parade as "toxic" and "shameful."
This episode exemplifies what Erick Erickson at RedState has written so many times about the naive people who believe they can coexist with the gay rights uber alles crowd: "You will be made to care" about their aggressive attempt to trample others' rights when they come after your business, your church, or in this case your parade. The people organizing and running Boston's annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade certainly know that.
It's also pretty obvious that in many parts of the country, the odds that the press will objectively cover such controversies are virtually zero. In many cases, as seen in Boston, they will be open advocates.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.