March 3, 2015 - New England’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans organization, OUTVETS, an organization focused on the sacrifice and service of LGBT veterans and their families, was approved to march in the famed 2015 South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade. On February 18, 2015, OUTVETS was officially notified that they are approved to participate in this year’s parade on March 15.
After a spirited debate and thoughtful consideration, the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, presided over by Mr. Bryan R. Mahoney, decided that the service and sacrifices made by our nation’s LGBT service members was deserving of being honored. OUTVETS Commander Bryan Bishop stated, “We are honored to have the opportunity to march in this parade and thank Brian Mahoney and the Allied War Veterans Council for the opportunity to participate in this time-honored South Boston tradition. However, the scope of our mission far exceeds that of any parade. OUTVETS provides a vehicle for LGBT veterans to reconnect with others who served with honor and pride but may have been forced out for something so personal as who they loved. We also promote volunteerism and community service and engagement. This parade will bring awareness to the contributions of not only LGBT veterans, but all veterans. I think we all will see that those things that unite us far outweigh the things that divide us.” This will be OUTVETS’ second time to march in a parade since its inception on September 20, 2015, the date of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. All OUTVETS members marching in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade will solely be veteran or active duty service members.
The organization’s membership is open to all who would like to join, and its membership consists of men and women who are gay, straight, veteran, ally, young and old. As Robert Santiago ,the organization’s Vice Commander said, “We are an inclusive organization, not exclusive.” OUTVETS is accepting applications for membership from all military veterans, families and allies who want to honor the sacrifice and tireless service of these brave American heroes.
To learn more visit www.outvets.com, or call Ryan McGill the Director of Communication at 339-235-7548.