Boston, MA – Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson will not participate in the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade regardless of whatever decision OutVets reaches about their own participation. He released the following statement this afternoon:

I am proud to have marched in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade only when our LGBTQ veterans have also been invited to participate. I did look forward to doing the same this year, but after the shabby and disrespectful way OutVets, a group of distinguished and honorable LGBTQ veterans have been treated by some of the Parade’s organizers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, I have no interest in participating in this event until members of the LGBTQ community are permanently included. The nine narrow-minded committee members who voted to exclude OutVets on March 8, 2017, failed to meet the standards this nation and city pride themselves on – a deep and abiding commitment to treating every person with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Boston is a welcoming community, one that celebrates diversity in all its forms, and I am proud to be a part of this great city that has led the nation in our shared struggles to battle against LGBTQ, gender, and racial discrimination.

I am proud to stand with OutVets. I am also proud to stand with the four members of the organizing committee who did vote to include OutVets earlier this week. And I am proud to stand with the people of South Boston who I know are equally as outraged by the treatment of OutVets and other members of the LGBTQ community as I am. Discrimination should have no friend in Boston, and I will not support an event organized by some who went out of their way to exclude our LGBTQ friends and neighbors.

 – City Councillor Tito Jackson