Photos: Gay veterans group marches in St. Patrick’s Day parade after being briefly banned

OUTVETS marched in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade Sunday in Boston. —Michael Dwyer / AP

In the wake of controversy, OUTVETS marched in their third straight St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston on Sunday.

The gay veterans group’s participation came after parade’s organizers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, voted to ban OUTVETS from the parade. Some members of the council reportedly took issue with the group’s rainbow flag and banner.

However, following broad backlash from local elected officials, the council reversed their decision and unanimously voted to invite OUTVETS, which participated in the annual parade for the first time in 2015. OUTVETS accepted the invitation, and marched Sunday — rainbow banner and all — along with their fellow veterans.

OUTVETS founder Bryan Bishop walks past a group from Veterans for Peace during the parade Sunday. —Michael Dwyer / AP
People show support of OUTVETS from a window. —Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe
Advertisement

—Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe

Dr. Katherine Zappone, Ireland’s first lesbian minister and a Boston College alum who has been in the United States with other Irish officials, marched in the parade, too. The country’s children and health affairs minister also walked with OUTVETS.

Zappone reportedly expressed hopes of opening an OUTVETS chapter in Ireland.