Thursday, 4:30 PM
Gov. Patrick marches in gay pride parade
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
As the Legislature prepares for a crucial debate on same-sex marriage next week, Gov. Deval Patrick today became the first sitting governor to march in Boston's gay pride parade.
Strolling alongside Mayor Thomas Menino, Patrick waved to the crowd amid cheers as the parade made its way through Boston's South End.
"I didn't know the governor was going to be here. It's very respectful. We're supported by the highest official," said Richard Smith, 53, of Shrewsbury.
Patrick has been working to help defeat a proposed constitutional amendement banning same-sex marriage that will come up for vote in a constitutional convention next week.
If the gay marriage ban gets at least 50 votes at the constitutional convention, it will go before voters on the 2008 ballot.
Patrick marched in the last two parades as a candidate for governor. Organizers said Menino has marched in the parade throughout his tenure as mayor.