Chester Darling, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Boston Herald: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way into the Morning

Herald Staff photo by Christopher Evans
Herald Staff photo by Christopher Evans

I woke at Thursday morning sometime before 7 a.m.  I checked the news on my smart phone to see the state of affairs and went to the Boston papers. Running down the headlines in the Herald I saw there was posted a comment by Chester Darling a well-respected and highly competent lawyer.. The headline was: “Darling: Sexual politics, coercion have no place in this annual tradition.”

I read it quickly and passed on to other things thinking to myself that I thought the matter had been resolved even though I had read the annual furor had reared up because the LGBT groups once barred but which were permitted to march the last two years were being kicked out again.

About 8:30 a.m. I wondered whether I should comment on this matter. I had done so in the years past but felt I could add little to what I said before but thought perhaps before deciding I should read Chester’s letter again. I went back to where I had first seen it on my smart phone but it had been removed. I went to the Herald’s page on my computer and could not find it. I wondered: “Oh, where, oh, where has Chester’s comment gone, oh, where, oh where could it be?”

The Herald apparently got cold feet having allowed an unpopular expression to be published so it decided to bury Chester’s comment. So much for everyone having a platform. Chester would argue the Herald has a right to exclude or hide his comment in the same way the organizers of St. Pat’s parade have a right to decide who will march.

Here is a paper supposedly dedicated to Free Speech but it does not have the courage to keep out for consideration speech some might not like. It suppresses the opinion of a man who argued a case before the Supreme Court and won 9 – 0 apparently after some powerful forces complained.

I was able to track it down but if a person did not know it existed he or she would not have been able to do this. For those who did not have a chance to read his comment, here is Chester Darling’s comment:

“In 1995, I argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in an appeal from a decision of the state Supreme Judicial Court agreeing with a trial judge that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade was the equivalent of a place of public accommodation, and due to its lack of expressive focus and exclusion of a gay activist group, was required to include the group in their annually permitted parade.

The Supreme Court’s unanimous judgment reversed the SJC decision, 9–0, and mandated that disapproval of a private speaker’s message did not legitimize the use of the power of government to force the speaker to alter his message to include messages approved by others.

The Veterans’ Council has a policy that does not permit sexual themes in their parades.

In 2014, Mayor Marty Walsh met with Wacko Hurley, his organizer of the parade, and the gay group. He instructed Hurley that he would have to change his parade so that he could march, due to his promises to the gay community.

The answer was no.

Mayor Walsh then called the primary organizer, Phil Wuschke, into his office for additional meetings, during which he argued for the inclusion of a gay activist group. During one visit he intimated that he could pull the parade permit if the gay activists were not allowed to march in the parade.

The mayor orchestrated more meetings, and during a banquet in the lobby of the Boston Convention Center, he confronted Wuschke and threatened him in an effort to change his mind and permit the gay groups to march. The intimidation, coercion and threats did not work with this tough marine.

In 2015 and 2016 invitations and votes were manipulated to include gay groups in the parade.

Now by not marching in the parade, the mayor has gained some more votes, and may cause sycophants and panderers to withhold support for the parade. What is not understood is the tried and true nature of the parade.

It celebrates the feast day of the patron saint of the Archdiocese of Boston, the evacuation of the British from Boston and its tribute to the military.

Clearly the Veterans’ Council does not agree that a group parading its sexuality contributes to the messages contained in their annual traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”


9 thoughts on “Chester Darling, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Boston Herald: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way into the Morning

  1. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

    Curious. Nowhere do I see anything about the amount of “expressive focus” required.

  2. This is silly. Suddenly, after two years of marching, this group is excluded from the parade? Of course the gay vets should be permitted to march. How is it that the grandly named Allied War Veterans Council has voting members who are not even veterans? The parade should not be turned into a celebration of Roman Catholic bigotry.5

    1. “This is silly. Suddenly, after two years of marching, this group is excluded from the parade? Of course the gay vets should be permitted to march.”

      What you are saying is that when the cultural Marxists win, there can be no further battles. Of course, when the cultural Marxists lose, it is only round one. Any victory for the cultural Marxists is by this rule book The End Of History.

      The gay vets were permitted to march by grace of the parade organizers. It is not a right. Two years indulgence establishes nothing. The parade organizers appear to have had enough of the Mayor’s thuggery. We shall see.

  3. Sorry, wrong thread.

    The Belfast, and, Dublin parades, have gay contingents marching in them, Chicago, too. What’s wrong with Boston? Has Trump green-lighted public expressions of prejudice and general spitefulness? What if the guy/gal in your fox-hole is/was gay? How about your brother, sister, son, daughter, favorite priest, or, nun, were gay? Would you still go with the hate? Down with Glorious Leader, and, all the mean-spirited nitwits he’s encouraged.

  4. Khalid,
    1. You are disagreeing with a unanimous (9-0) United States Supreme Court. This is America: You can’t force people to wear or display others’ symbols. And as NC said, you can’t force people to carry Mao’s little Red Book nor display the Rainbow Flag.
    2. Think: Must all expressive activities (parades, performances, public speeches) include “gay-pride” symbols and signage? Or only St. Pat’s Day parades?
    3. Everyone discriminates in messaging, viewpoints, values. Every time you post on this site, you don’t have to express solidarity with any viewpoint. You are free to conduct your own parade and include or exclude any messages you want. Can’t you have an Easter Parade without “gay-pride” signs?
    4. The Veterans have never discriminated against gays: Gays have marched in all their parades; openly gay City Councilor David Scondras used to march without impediment; 10,000-plus people march every year and none are asked their race, religion, orientation, etc. All must comply with the Veterans’ rules on signage.
    5. Debate it ’til you’re blue in the face! There’s a 15 year written record of debate on this issue. Constitutionally the matter is decided. Logically and morally the matter is decided.
    6. Or perhaps you think “gay-pride” rainbow flags should be mandated to be displayed prominently at every Mosque, Synagogue and Church in America?

  5. Bill is right. Darling is a hero. The Southie Vets are facing the same lawlessness that Charles Murray experienced at Middlebury. If you don’t conform your thoughts and speech to the PC version of what is acceptable you are silenced. State power in the form of the Mayor and the Governor are going to denounce you. Are they the thought police? Their allies in the media will follow along. They will try to turn you into an outcast. You will be shunned. Isn’t that what the Globe ordered everyone to do to Bill Bulger. No one can get off the reservation without grave consequences. The Vets want to assert their own speech. They don’t want to be forced to carry that little red book with the thoughts of Dukakis ( Mao). 2. If you had an honest press a reporter would ask the Mayor if he knew what the First Amendment of the U S Constitution was. He would then ask if he ever read the Hurley case. Then one would see how hollow and empty his threats to pull the permit are. The new U S Attorney should mandate no coercion of Rights in the Commonwealth. Thank God we have people ( the Southie Vets) who defend the Constitution and protect all Americans freedoms.

  6. Disagree. Prejudice against gays is wrong. Pope Paco Dos has condemned it, and, as I remember, the Pat’s Day parade is an Irish Catholic event. Instead of fighting against the inclusion of gays in the parade, critics should consider the gay contingent to be the comic-relief in the show.

  7. Matt:
    Chester Darling is a great man, a great constitutional lawyer, blessed with a brilliant mind and a magnanimous spirit. Lifelong he fought for the common man, “the least of these”, the poor, the powerless, against the State, a power-drunk, overly intrusive State, against judicial tyranny, and against the P.C. Press. He was courageous and unwavering in his defense of free speech and liberty for all. He never curried favor. He never flinched. In many legal battles, he prevailed against all odds. He stood tall, yet always remained a humble man, a gentlemen with a good sense of humor. Some say he was blessed with “the lilt of Irish laughter” in his great Lebanese-American heart. Chester is a gem, an American patriot, a hero.
    2. We’ll see how the Veterans re-vote turns out today. (See my post yesterday.) I hope the Vets stick to their guns: as I understand it they’ve simply asked the Outvets group to remove the gay-pride rainbow symbol from their banner. Of course, the Media and politicians will hide that fact from the public too.
    3. Imagine this: You’re in New York watching a Broadway play about WWII: An actor appears on-stage with a gay-pride symbol (the rainbow flag) posted on his soldier’s uniform. Wouldn’t the director say, “Take it off! That message has no place in this play.”? Who controls the signs, symbols, messages in a play or parade?

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