An organization calling themselves Super Happy Fun America is planning a straight pride parade in the city of Boston. The group consists of John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Chris Bartley.
According to their website, Super Happy Fun America had asked the city to fly a “straight pride” flag they designed at Boston City Hall. When the city refused, the group accused Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration of choosing “hate and discrimination” in a blog post titled “Boston Rejects Straights.”
The post went on to say that the group would be organizing a straight pride parade, writing, “We have determined that a parade would be the best way to promote our community and its diverse history, culture, and identity.” The group says they plan to ask for the same route and accommodations that are provided each year during Boston’s LGBT Pride parade.
Carolyn Ryan, Assistant Managing Editor at the New York Times, shared a tweet on June 4 about the event with a screenshot of a Facebook post by event organizer Mark Sahady.
Here’s Sahady’s post:
The tweet prompted a lot of conversation, quickly receiving hundreds of comments and trending on Twitter.
Mayor Walsh said in a statement, “Every year Boston hosts our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community. This is a special week that represents Boston’s values of love and inclusion, which are unwavering. I encourage everyone to join us in celebration this Saturday for the Pride Parade and in the fight for progress and equality for all.”
According to Sahady, the straight pride event is tentatively planned to take place on August 31. The mayor’s office, however, has issued a statement saying that the group, “has been in contact with the City of Boston, but has not yet received the necessary permits to host a parade.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Group Organizing the Parade Claims Straight People Are an ‘Oppressed Majority’
In a statement on their website, president John Hugo wrote, “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement[sic] and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations.”
2. Super Happy Fun America’s President John Hugo Ran for Congress in 2018
President of Super Happy Fun America John Hugo ran for Congress in 2018 opposite Congresswoman Katherine Clark. Hugo was endorsed by the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, Gun Owners Action League, and Right to Life.
Hugo described his political views to Boston Broadside, “I’m Pro-Life. I fully support the 2nd Amendment. I’m a nationalist who wants to live under the United States Constitution, not some United Nations diktat. I support President Trump’s effort to secure the borders, to renegotiate bad trade deals, and his muscular foreign policy that puts America First.”
Hugo’s opponent crushed him at the polls, winning with 74,119 votes to his 29,703, The MetroWest Daily News reports.
3. Vice President Mark Sahady Has Been Accused of Having Ties to White Supremacists
According to a Twitter thread posted by Boston Democratic Socialists of America, Super Happy Fun America vice president Mark Sahady has ties to known white supremacists and has participated in violent demonstrations. Boston DSA cites Sahady’s association with American Guard New Hampshire president John Camden as evidence of his white supremacist leanings. Though the American Guard has publicly denied being a hate group, the Anti Defamation League identifies them as “hardcore white supremacists.”
The thread goes on to show images of Sahady that they claim were taken in Portland in 2018. Willamette Weekly reports that Proud Boys, a white nationalist group beat anti-fascist protestors at their march with PVC pipes and wooden poles. According to DSA Boston, Mark Sahady was present and participated in the march and ensuing violence.
Based on his Facebook profile, Sahady is also affiliated with an organization called Resist Marxism, a nationalist organization that hopes to “defend the Constitution against violent extremists and the Regressive Left.”
4. ‘Gay Ambassador’ Chris Bartley Is a Member of Gays for Trump
Super Happy Fun America lists Chris Bartley on their website as the group’s “Gay Ambassador”, writing, “Chris uses his status in the LGBTQ community to challenge heterophobia wherever it exists. He became involved in the straight pride movement after being ostracized from established advocacy groups for merely suggesting that straight people be afforded equal rights.”
On Twitter, Bartley identifies as a member of Gays for Trump and tweets in support of conservative causes.
5. Response to the Proposed Parade Has Been Largely Negative
In comments on his Facebook post, Sahady has received mixed responses to the proposed straight pride parade. Some Facebook users commented showing their support for the event while others shared frustration and confusion.
One user wrote, “Gay pride did not start just to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution, and to commemorate the Stonewall riots, where people fought for basic human rights. It was illegal just for gay people to congregate together at the time. There has never been a NEED for a straight pride movement because straight people have never been persecuted for being straight. This is a disgusting display and a mockery.”
On reddit, posters in /r/LGBT called the event organizers trolls. /u/midtownguy88 wrote, “Boston gays are already celebrating pride this weekend. I don’t really see a reason to get worked up over these losers. They want to walk around the city being booed by large crowds – they are trolling, and protesting them is exactly what they want. The better way to deal with them would be to ignore them. Let the dozen of them walk around the empty streets and move on.”