City officials stated the organizers’ public event application was passed on Thursday, the first step toward getting a permit for the parade.
Next, organizers need the support of police district captains and the licensing board to get a parade permit and an entertainment license.
Critics panned the idea as homophobic when the group Super Happy Fun America announced its intention to hold the parade. But the group’s president, John Hugo, told CNN the event is “not anti-gay but pro-straight,” adding that a groundswell of support is building around it.
More than 350 volunteers have joined the effort and Milo Yiannopoulos is slated as the grand marshal, he stated. The permit says 2,000 attendees are expected.
“The city has promised me that if we follow the steps, it will go through,” said Hugo, whose name is on the event application as the primary organizer.
If it goes forward, Mayor Marty Walsh will not attend, city officials stated.
The parade would be held on August 31 from noon to 3 p.m., according to the application. It would start on Boylston and Clarendon Streets and proceed along Boylston to Tremont.
The mayor’s office emphasized that event applications are granted “based on operational feasibility” and not “values or endorsements of beliefs.”
The group originally requested to hold the event on City Hall Plaza and raise the “Straight Pride Flag” on city hall flag poles, the office said in a statement.
According to the organizers’ website, the straight pride flag features the male and female sex symbols linked against a purple and blue background.
The appeal to raise the flag was “respectfully denied” since the use of the poles “is at the city’s sole and complete responsibility,” the statement said.
“The city maintains that its flag poles are a forum for government speech. As such, the city maintains selectivity and control over the messages conveyed by the flags flown on our flag poles, and has chosen not to display the ‘Straight Pride’ flag.”