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Boston Readies For 'Straight Pride Parade' And Possible Protests

BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police and colleges in the area are making safety preparations ahead of an event scheduled for Saturday dubbed the "straight pride parade."

Emerson students are moving in, but Saturday the college warns of a disruptive or even dangerous event taking place on the streets directly outside.

"It honestly really scares me. I think a straight pride parade is nothing more than pride masquerading as hate," said Sabrina Sexauer, Emerson student

The parade is in response to gay pride events.

"Straight is great. We love being straight. And there's nothing wrong with celebrating our sexual orientation," said John Hugo, founder of the group Super Happy Fun America, which organized the parade.

John Hugo, organizer of the Straight Pride Parade. (WBZ-TV)

Arline Isaacson co-chairs the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. She stresses straight people have not been marginalized throughout history for their sexuality.

"People don't lose their jobs, or their apartments, or be denied public accommodations because they're straight," Isaacson said. "So it's silly to say they need a straight pride parade when candidly straight pride takes place 365 days a year."

The parade begins Saturday at Copley Square and ends at City Hall with speakers. Organizers have a four-hour permit starting at noon.

Boston Police set up barriers ahead of the Straight Pride Parade. (WBZ-TV)

Boston Police are expecting more counter-demonstrators to the parade than actual parade participants.

"Hey listen, straight, gay we all got to be on this earth together, let them do what they are going to do," said David Smith, Boston.

Because of the potential volatility, police are restricting parking, what people can bring and there will be lots of officers. Sign poles are banned because they could potentially be used as weapons.

Emerson College has even canceled an event and restricted access to certain buildings. Students plan to use the dorms along the route for their own message.

"People are talking about hanging their gay pride flags out the window, which I am all for. We are all against it," said Leo De Paolis, Emerson student.

As of Friday, barricades were already set up at City Hall Plaza. Police will also set up metal detectors at there and conduct bag checks.

"It's OK to disagree. And it's OK if we have people protesting against us. Don't do it illegally," Hugo said.


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