Controversial 'Straight Pride' parade gets approval from Boston to be held in August

Ryan W. Miller

A planned "Straight Pride" parade received approval from the city of Boston, clearing another hurdle to allow the contentious event to move forward.

The city approved the event application for the group Super Happy Fun America to host the parade Aug. 31, the Boston Globe and WBUR reported. The event still needs approval from the city's police department and licensing board, according to WBUR.

The group said its application to hoist a "Straight Pride flag" on the city's flagpole was denied. Mayor Marty Walsh, a Democrat who has been critical of the event, will not attend the parade, the Boston Globe reported.

Walsh said permits to host a public event are granted based on "operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs," and the city "cannot deny a permit based on an organization's values."

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"Whatever outside groups may try do, our values won't change. I invite each and every person to stand with us, and show that love will always prevail," the mayor tweeted  this month.

Super Happy Fun America said the event aims to celebrate "the diverse history, culture and contributions of the straight community." When the event was announced, it was met with criticism as many called it a clear dig against LGTBQ pride parades.

WBUR reported that several of Super Happy Fun America's leaders are connected to far-right groups and that its vice president, Mark Sahady, has ties to the Proud Boys, a group the FBI has labeled as extremist. 

Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right provocateur, will serve as the parade's "mascot and grand marshal," the organization said. Two years ago, Yiannopoulos stepped down from his role at Breitbart News after podcasts surfaced in which he seemed to condone sex between men and underage boys. The group Super Happy Fun America originally named Brad Pitt its mascot, but he requested his name and likeness not be used.

The parade would mirror the route of Boston's LGBT Pride Parade, which took place this month.

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In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Contributing: Joey Garrison and N'dea Yancey-Bragg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Controversial 'Straight Pride' parade gets approval from Boston to be held in August