BOSTON – June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer history.
A group in Boston sparked outrage by announcing plans to host a “Straight Pride Parade” this summer, although it’s unclear whether the city will allow the event.
Mark Sahady, vice president of Super Happy Fun America, a group organized by three men who claim to advocate “on behalf of the straight community,” announced that the parade is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 31. Sahady included a proposed parade route that mirrors the path of the LGBT Pride Parade set for Saturday.
“We will have the streets closed and be allowed floats and vehicles,” Sahady wrote in a Facebook post. “This is our chance to have a patriotic parade in Boston as we celebrate straight pride.”
Sahady said that he filed a discrimination complaint with the city and that officials are working with the group on the event. City officials confirmed the group contacted them, but it hasn’t received the permits required to host a parade.
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Boston, known for its liberal politics, is a historically LGBT-friendly city, and Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
Sahady, a member of the right-wing group Resist Marxism, has organized several controversial demonstrations, Boston magazine reported, including a Rally for the Republic in 2017 that drew less than 100 right-wing demonstrators and a pro-gun protest in response to the March for Our Lives in 2018.
Super Happy Fun America’s president is John Hugo, a Republican candidate for Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District in 2018. He lost to U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., by 76%-24%, for the suburban Boston seat.
The group says on its website that Brad Pitt is its mascot, calling him “a hero to straight men all around the world.” Hugo is quoted as calling straight people an “oppressed majority.”
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“We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement and hate,” he said.
Organizers said they are “committed to creating spaces for people of all identities to embrace the vibrancy of the straight community.”
This year, the group applied for permits to raise the “straight pride flag” outside Boston City Hall, but organizers said they were denied in April.
Their announcement about a parade drew ridicule on social media after New York Times assistant managing editor Carolyn Ryan tweeted about the event.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat, issued a statement in support of the city’s LGBT community and its coming Pride Month events when asked whether he supports the “Straight Pride” Parade being able to take place.
“Every year, Boston hosts our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community,” Walsh said. “This is a special week that represents Boston’s values of love and inclusion, which are unwavering. I encourage everyone to join us in celebration this Saturday for the Pride Parade and in the fight for progress and equality for all.”
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