The long-anticipated and controversial “Straight Pride Parade” commenced in Boston on Saturday, drawing crowds of both supporters and hecklers on top of a heavy police presence, reports NBC News.
“The parade, which drew several dozen participants, kicked off at around noon to the sound of Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA’ with some floats displaying messages of support for President Donald Trump, with signs such as ‘build the wall,’ ‘Trump nation’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter.'”
Plans for a “Straight Pride Parade” kicked off during LGBT Pride Month when the group Super Happy Fun America secured permits from the city of Boston after first being rejected.
As The Daily Wire’s James Barrett reported at the time:
The city initially rejected the “Straight Pride” proposal but, after the group filed a discrimination complaint, has conceded that it cannot deny a group on account of its values or beliefs, as explained by Mayor Marty Walsh earlier this month. “Permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs,” he said. “The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values.”
CBS Boston notes that “Super Happy Fun America” initially requested that City Hall fly a “Straight Pride” flag, as it does the Gay Pride flag, but the request “was denied as city officials said they have sole discretion on what flags fly outside City Hall.”
According to the Boston Globe, the parade on Saturday drew only “a few hundred marchers,” who were outnumbered by protesters heckling them with accusations of bigotry and homophobia. “Shame on you!” the protesters reportedly yelled. Members of the LGBT community saw the parade as a promotion of discrimination rather than actual “straight pride.”
“This quote-unquote ‘other side’ is pretending that they’re just a foolish group of freedom-of-speech lovers who are advocating that straight people have all the rights that queer people have,” Willie Burnley Jr., who helped organize a counterprotest called Hands Off Our Pride, told the Boston Globe.
“These people aren’t welcome here, and I felt the need to tell them myself,” said 41-year-old Lisa Magil. “This isn’t about straight pride. This is about hating everyone who isn’t them.”
“As a straight person, I’m outraged at the idea of them arguing that straight people are an oppressed majority,” said Shoshanna Ehrlich, a professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. “We’re not the ones beat up, marginalized, and harassed for our sexuality.”
While liberals formed the bulk of the protesters, the parade indeed drew a fair amount of criticism from conservative circles upon it first being announced. The Daily Wire’s own Matt Walsh even said that the parade is every bit as much as “stupid” as a gay pride parade.
“I believe I am on stable intellectual ground in calling the parade silly, as I have also said the same about gay pride parades,” Walsh said.
Participants in the parade said they wanted to speak out against the growing prominence and popularity of gay culture.
“They’ve got gay everything, every place, and it’s about time they did something for straight pride. We’re people, too,” said one marcher.
“It’s become less and less PC to be straight, white, and male,” said another marcher. “That’s considered the bottom of the chain. That’s the one group you can still voice negative things about on YouTube and there’s no punishment.”