Boston Pride Disinvites 2016 Parade Marshal Over Facebook Comments

Boston Pride said it rescinded the offer to Anthony Imperioso after finding "offensive comments" on his Facebook page

A Massachusetts police officer set to serve as the 2016 Boston Pride parade marshal has found his invitation revoked after he allegedly posted "offensive comments" on Facebook, according to the organization.

In a statement, Boston Pride said it rescinded the offer to Anthony Imperioso after finding the comments on his Facebook page. Imperioso, of the Woburn Police Department, was selected to serve as parade marshal through a community-wide vote. This year's parade, which celebrates tolerance and diversity, will take place June 11.

"As an inclusive organization, Boston Pride does not condone any language that is intolerant of racial, ethnic, or religious differences. Additionally, we reject language that promotes violence towards any individuals who are exercising their First Amendment rights," the organization said in a statement on its website Monday.

Boston Pride did not specify which comments led to the withdrawal of Imperioso's offer. The officer's Facebook page could not be found through a public search.

"Boston Pride cannot condone those comments. After a discussion between Mr. Imperioso and Boston Pride, his marshalship has been withdrawn, and Mr. Imperioso will not be a marshal in the 2016 parade," Boston Pride said.

The group apologized for a "lack of vetting" and said it will review its marshal nominating process to ensure the selection is "both fair and robust to all members of the community" in the future.

Imperioso serves as president of the New England Gay Officers Action League, according to the group's website. Neither Imperioso nor New England GOAL had responded to requests for comment at the time of publication. The Woburn Police Department also did not return a request for comment early Tuesday afternoon.

This year's Boston Pride Week runs from June 3-12 and includes a parade, festival, concert and block parties in the city's Back Bay and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods. More information on the festival is available online.

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