A planned “Straight Pride” paradereceived approval from the city of Boston, clearing another hurdle to allow the contentious event to move forward, local media reported.
The city approved the event application for the group Super Happy Fun America to host the parade on Aug. 31, the Boston Globe and WBUR reported. The event still needs approval from the city’s police department and licensing board, according to WBUR.
The group said its application to hoist a “Straight Pride flag” on the city’s flagpole was denied. Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat who had been critical of the event, will not attend the parade, the Boston Globe reported.
Walsh had previously said that permits to host a public event are granted based on “operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs,” and that the city “cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values.”
WBUR reports that several of Super Happy Fun America’s leaders are connected to far-right groups and that its vice president, Mark Sahady, has ties to the Proud Boys, a group the FBI has labeled as extremist.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right provocateur, will serve as the parade’s “mascot and Grand Marshall,” the organization said. Two years ago, Yiannopoulos stepped down from his role at Breitbart News after podcasts surfaced in which he seemed to condone sex between men and underage boys. The group originally named Brad Pitt its mascot, but he requested his name and likeness not be used.
The planned parade mirrors the route of Boston’s LGBT Pride Parade, which took place this month.
The group’s president, John Hugo, reportedly said Wednesday after the event received approval that, “We are not anti-gay, we are pro-straight.”
Massachusetts in 2004 became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
*see full story by USA Today