The following two articles are detailed discussions of the dispute surrounding the annual South Boston Evacuation Day/St. Patrick's Day Parade. Early in 1992, the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston (GLIB) was denied the opportunity by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council (Veterans Council) to march in the Parade. The Veterans Council's denial sparked a memorable three-year legal battle that culminated in the United States Supreme Court's decision in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston, 115 S. Ct. 2338 (1995), which favored the Veterans Council. The authors--Gretchen Van Ness and Professor Dwight Duncan--represented the opposing litigants in the case. Ms. Van Ness worked on behalf of GLIB, and Professor Duncan worked on behalf of the Veterans Council--the organizers of the Parade.
The controversy attracted much attention from its beginning in February of 1992 until the Supreme Court's holding in June of 1995. It also elicited significant emotional responses from many people in the Boston area and across the country; some stridently opposed to allowing an openly gay, lesbian and bisexual organization to march in the Parade, and others adamantly in favor of allowing the group to participate. The editors of the New England Law Review wish to thank both authors for their thoughtful and detailed discussions of the issues and opposing views regarding the case. We hope that you will read both articles with an open mind and come to your own conclusions about this case that greatly divided the citizenry of Boston.