New leadership for group that organizes St. Patrick’s parade

FILE - In this March 20, 2016 file photo, members of OutVets, a group of gay military veterans, march in the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston's South Boston neighborhood. The group said Wednesday, March 8, 2017, it was denied permission to march in the 2017 Boston St. Patrick's Day parade just two years after organizers made the ground-breaking decision to allow gay groups to participate for the first time. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The group that organizes the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade, which has been embroiled in controversy over whether to allow gay groups to participate, has new leadership.

The South Boston Allied War Veteran’s Council on Tuesday elected 34-year-old Army veteran Dave Falvey as its commander. The council is an umbrella organization of several VFW and American Legion posts.

Falvey is a member of the Thomas J. Fitzgerald VFW Post. Its members opposed a decision in March to ban OutVets, a gay veterans’ group, from marching in the parade. OutVets was eventually allowed to participate.

Falvey told the Boston Herald he doesn’t expect any more controversy and he’s “personally supportive of their right to march.”

Ed Flynn, a council member also opposed to banning OutVets, called Falvey’s election a “historic step forward.”