From Publishers Weekly
In early 1992, the Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston (GLIB) petitioned to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was sponsored by the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston. When their petition was rejected, a member of GLIB filed a lawsuit claiming the violation of his rights under the First Amendment. Three days before the parade, a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge ruled that GLIB should be allowed to march. That decision was subsequently upheld on appeal and not overturned until the time of the 1995 parade, when a Federal District judge ruled that the veterans group could bar members of GLIB. On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously "upheld the right of private parade organizers around the U.S. to define their own speech in their own parades." Connolly, a Boston lawyer, and Walkowski (The Will of God) have written an extremely intricate and legalistic book that will be of interest mostly to the legal community. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In March 1994 news organisations from around America and the world focused considerable attention on what appeared to be a relatively minor parade controversy boiling over on the streets of the predominantly working-class community of South Boston. After three years of legal wrangling, the state's highest court was about to speak to the question of whether sponsors of a traditionally-themed and privately organised St. Patrick's Day Parade could ban, without violating the state's public accommodation law, a gay activist group from marching behind a banner proclaiming its homosexual orientation. When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the trial court that the Allied War Veterans Council's traditional parade, replete with Irish flags, shamrocks, bag-pipe bands, pro-life, POW, political, religious and cultural message, was not expressive enough to be protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and because of this, could not exclude a group with an antithetical, non-traditional message from participating, the stage was set for a historic constitutional confrontation. In this important book on how the dismantling of the First Amendment occurred, the authors chronicle the social and legal arguments from trial court all the way to the United States Supreme Court, offering the reader a rare glimpse into how a legal controversy makes its way to the nation's highest court against a network of biased court judges, politically correct law firms, a state anti-discrimination agency, academe, and a timid municipal administration.