Leader of LGBTQ Vets Group to Oversee Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade

In this March 15, 2015 file photo, members of OutVets, a group of gay military veterans, march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston's South Boston neighborhood. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
In this March 15, 2015 file photo, members of OutVets, a group of gay military veterans, march during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston's South Boston neighborhood. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON  — The leader of an LGBTQ veterans group has been hired to oversee the Boston St. Patrick's Day parade, which has been embroiled in controversy over whether to allow gay groups to participate.

The parade's organizer, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, announced Thursday it has appointed Bryan Bishop as director of parade operations. The Air Force veteran is chief executive officer and a founder of OutVets, an LGBTQ veterans group.

The veterans council commander, Dave Falvey, cites Bishop's advocacy for veterans and his experience planning large events. Falvey tells The Boston Globe the hiring demonstrates the council has "moved forward."

The council voted last year to bar OutVets from the parade because of its rainbow flag but reversed the decision amid criticism by politicians and sponsors.

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