Pelton calls Straight Pride Parade ‘a perversion’


There is quite a stir over the Straight Pride Parade, set to grace downtown Boston this weekend. Organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America, the parade will feature controversial alt-righter and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos as chief marshal.

On the year of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a milestone moment in LGBTQ rights history, many view the parade as the ultimate trolling.

The group will march from Copley Square up Boylston Street past Emerson College — a liberal bastion for LGBTQ students. Lee Pelton, the president of Emerson, isn’t pleased.

“Fear and ignorance, humanity’s most potent cocktail, masquerading as freedom of speech, have been given permission (i.e. given a license) to hold a Straight Pride Parade on August 31st, which, barring the Boston Police determination that doing so would be unsafe, will march by our campus – an affront to the wonderfully pied beauty of our affirming and diverse commonwealth of learning,” Pelton said in a community email.

Pelton didn’t stop there. “The Straight Pride Parade is a perversion,” he wrote. “It is a desecration of beauty, truth, and generosity and that is why we must call it out, call it what is, with a loud, clear, unambiguous and unified voice.”

Emerson is particularly piqued because the parade is happening on move-in day for returning students, leading the college to prohibit guests from entering any college buildings, and locking exterior doors on the day parents will probably want to take a jaunt around campus.

A spokesman for the Straight Pride Parade said that Pelton’s comments, which at one point compared the group to white pride, showed ignorance about “the nature of our movement.” Organizers have claimed for months they’re not mocking the LGBTQ Pride Parade, and that the connections to the alt-right pro-Trump movement are non-existent.

“I might technically be a sequined and perfectly coiffed friend of Dorothy’s, but I’ve spent my entire career advocating for the rights of America’s most brutally repressed identity — straight people — so I know a thing or two about discrimination,” Yiannopoulos said in a statement released by the group in June.

Despite the lighthearted comments, Yiannopoulos has been banned from Facebook and banned from entering Australia over dangerous rhetoric. Last year, he encouraged followers to start “gunning journalists down,” two days before a Maryland paper, Capital Gazette, was targeted in a shooting that killed five people.

The parade can’t be stopped legally — Mayor Marty Walsh previously said the city cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values — but hundreds of would-be counter-protesters have RSVPed on Facebook that they’ll show up on Saturday. Some hope to disrupt the parade, while others, including Monica Cannon-Grant, the founder of Violence in Boston, intend to hold stationary demonstrations.

“The world is watching and how we deal with racism and how we deal with hatred and how we deal with discrimination is going to be recorded,” Cannon-Grant said. “And I think we have an obligation to stand up and fight, so that’s what I plan to do.”



Fueled by revenue from marjuana companies, the lobbying firm Smith, Costello & Crawford reports $1.98 million in revenues during the first six months of 2019, edging out perennial frontrunner ML Strategies. (CommonWealth)

Gov. Charlie Baker, declining to criticize President Trump for his disparaging comments about wind power, presses federal regulators to finish their environmental review of Vineyard Wind by March 2020. (CommonWealth)

State Auditor Suzanne Bump faults the state Department of Housing and Community Development for failing to notify homeless shelter residents that sex offenders are in the facility. (MassLive)

A Beacon Hill hearing features hours of testimony on bills to further clamp down on guns in the state. (Boston Globe)

A Globe editorial says the state should do a better job cracking down on the “leakage” of millions of dollars it should receive in tax revenue that goes uncollected.

A Shrewsbury police detective lieutenant nominated for a lifetime appointment as a clerk magistrate has no court experience and is not an attorney — but did coach Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito’s son in youth football. (Boston Herald)


Many communities across the state have fire departments that are understaffed. (MassLive)

Boston voters may weigh in through an advisory referendum this fall on the idea of changing the name of Roxbury’s Dudley Square, named for a colonial-era governor who oversaw laws allowing slavery, to Nubian Square — though one critic pointed out that empires in the Nubian region of North Africa have their own history of slavery. (Boston Globe)

By a 5-3 vote, the Lowell city council rejected a resolution that would have put the council on record against so-called sanctuary state legislation. (Lowell Sun)

The owner of a 176-unit apartment building is suing Lawrence over the closure of a 412-space parking garage used by tenants and others that is in need of repair. (Eagle-Tribune)

Salem resident Steve Kapantais has sued the city arguing that new miniature parklets violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and he would injure himself if he tried to use one. (Salem News)


An official at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency had no idea it was being charged with deporting individuals with serious illnesses whose protected status had been revoked. The official said “that’s nothing we plan on doing.” (CommonWealth)

Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley accuse the Trump administration of trying to gut the asylum process for immigrants in New England. (CommonWealth)

New Hampshire officials revealed that they have problems of their own with a backlog of unprocessed notices they received about Granite State drivers with violations in other states. (Boston Globe)

Congressman Seth Moulton wants to create a national suicide prevention hotline that is as simple to dial as 911. (WGBH)

On a recent trip to Israel with other new lawmakers, Congresswoman Lori Trahan met embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition candidate Benny Gantz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and she thinks it is “counterproductive” for Israel to ban other members of Congress from visiting at President Trump’s urging. (Lowell Sun)


Rep. Richard Neal appeared to violate House rules last year by running a primary ad on his government-funded Facebook page. Neal’s office blames a mistake by the campaign’s digital media vendor. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)


ViceRoy Capital Management pays $17.1 million for 11 buildings in downtown Peabody. (Daily Item)

A New Bedford building that was once a textile manufacturing facility known as Satkin Mills, and was also considered as a possible site for a casino, is now set to become a self-storage facility. (Standard-Times)


New Boston school superintendent Brenda Cassellius says she wants to visit all 125 schools in the district in 100 days. (Boston Globe)

UMass Boston is expecting an upfront payment of somewhere between $192.5 million and $235 million from Accadia Partners, which has signed a lease agreement for the school’s Bayside waterfront property. (Dorchester Reporter)

Hopkinton, again facing an influx of new students, is struggling to keep class sizes reasonable. (MetroWest Daily News)


Pulmonary specialists are sounding the alarm over dangers from vaping that are becoming more apparent. (Boston Herald)


The Herald News looks at Sharon Osbourne’s family ties to Fall River more than 150 years ago.


The Valley Flyer, a train connecting Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield, with connections to New York City via New Haven, is set to launch service Friday. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

In September or October, the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to decide whether to replace or repair the Cape Cod bridges, which MassDOT thinks should be replaced. (WGBH)

Michael Dukakis says it’s “easy” to modernize old rail lines and he thinks managed lanes won’t work. (WBUR)


Citing uncertainties over costs and the need for more information, Harwich and Yarmouth officials say they are unlikely to take an October vote on joining a wastewater partnership that would also include the town of Dennis. (Cape Cod Times)

The Trump administration plans to announce a loosening of rules on release of methane, a greenhouse gas linked to climate change, even though several of the country’s largest energy companies oppose the rollback. (Washington Post)


Former federal judge Nancy Gertner adds her voice to the chorus of critics denouncing the prosecution of two City Hall aides in the Boston Calling case. (Boston Globe) One of those voices, Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, unspooled the argument on this week’s episode of The Codcast.

A jury has found that the driver who crashed her car head-on into a bus in Kingston in 2012, and the company that operated the bus, were both negligent and responsible for the injuries of the three passengers in the car. (Patriot Ledger) 

With their former president facing corruption charges, members of the State Police union are now considering ousting his successor for ineffective leadership, as turmoil continues to wrack the organization. (Boston Globe)

Joan Vennochi wonders how deep former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis will dig in his role looking into David Ortiz’s shooting on behalf of the former Red Sox slugger. (Boston Globe)

A Lakeville man who shot his neighbor’s dog to death out of concern for his own safety two years ago has been exonerated of the sole charge brought against him: malicious killing of a domesticated animal. (Brockton Enterprise) 

Salem police gave Amaury Cedeno the benefit of the doubt when he said he accidentally went into the wrong car, but then arrested him after the owner of the vehicle discovered the stereo had been pulled out of the dashboard. (Salem News)


DigBoston editor Jason Pramas says MIT Media Lab’s longstanding relationship with alleged sex trafficker and deceased New York financier Jeffrey Epstein is only one of its questionable connections.