A 'spectacle' and 'perversion': Emerson president blasts Straight Pride Parade

A 'spectacle' and 'perversion': Emerson president blasts Straight Pride Parade

BOSTON — The president of Emerson College blasted the so-called Straight Pride Parade scheduled for this weekend in Boston in a letter to students, calling it a "perversion" and a "spectacle."

Lee Pelton's letter comes as thousands of college students arrive in Boston for move-in day at the start of the school year.

It reads, in part: "Do not be lulled into believing this parade is motivated by any noble obligation to protect freedom of speech or assembly. This is its mask only and behind that mask are a group of angry and misguided people whose aim is to turn a cherished American value “e pluribus unum,” “out of the many, one” on its head.

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The Straight Pride Parade is a perversion. 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."

Super Happy Fun America, The group behind the controversial parade, received a permit from the city in June to host the event. One of the organizers of the group, John Hugo, is quoted on the Super Happy Fun website, saying straight people are the "oppressed majority." The group is bringing in former Breitbart editor and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos to serve as the grand marshal for Saturday's parade.

Hugo has previously said Super Happy Fun is not a hate group: "I think there's a lot of misinformation out there.... there's no hate there, we love everyone and all are welcome."

The planned parade route begins at Copley and is scheduled to pass by Emerson's campus on Boylston Street, eventually ending at City Hall.

Organizers of several counter-protests are also expected to gather during the event.