BOSTON (AP) -- Organizers of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade are easing their two-decade long ban on gay groups by inviting marchers from an organization that seeks to preserve same-sex marriage equality.
A MassEquality official said Saturday that parade organizers invited the group to participate under a deal brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. Participants from the gay-rights group could will not be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that include the word gay or refer to sexual orientation in the parade that draws an estimated one million spectators every year to South Boston.
Walsh had threatened to boycott the city annual parade unless gay groups are allowed to march. The son of Irish immigrants called the ban "absurd" and said that allowing gay groups to participate is "long overdue."
A spokeswoman for Walsh did not immediately comment.