'Straight Pride Parade' in Boston draws counterprotesters and heavy police presence

The parade kicked off to the sound of “God Bless the USA,” with various floats displaying messages in support of President Donald Trump..
Image: Straight Pride Parade in Boston
Demonstrators prepare to march in the Straight Pride Parade in Boston, Massachusetts, on Aug. 31, 2019.Brian Snyder / Reuters

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By Nicole Acevedo

A so-called "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston on Saturday drew as many counterprotesters as marchers in addition to a heavy police presence.

The parade, which drew several dozen participants, kicked off at around noon to the sound of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” with some floats displaying messages of support for President Donald Trump, with signs such as "build the wall," "Trump nation" and "Blue Lives Matter."

Counter protesters yell and gesture at participants of the Boston Straight Pride Parade on Aug. 31, 2019 in Boston, Mass.Scott Eisen / Getty Images

It was organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America who say they are "committed to creating spaces for people of all identities to embrace the vibrancy of the straight community."

Since plans for the event were announced in early June, organizers have come under criticism. Some critics said that parade organizers are white supremacists whose intent was to bait members of the LGBT community in one of America's most liberal cities.

The planned parade route through downtown Boston alarmed Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who earlier this week sent a campuswide message to students calling the event "a perversion" and a "desecration of beauty, truth and generosity."

Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos participates in the Straight Pride Parade in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 31, 2019.Brian Snyder / Reuters

Counterprotesters were seen holding signs and rainbow flags along the parade route, separated by barriers.

"I don't need a damn parade but my queer daughter does," one of the counterprotester's sign read.

Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous, who has previously said he is openly gay, attended the parade.

Boston Police said they were heightening security in the downtown area.