Organizers of the upcoming Straight Pride parade in Boston alerted police when they received ‘suspicious’ letters on Monday (1 July). Authorities, however, quickly determined there was no threat as the letters only contained glitter and Bible verses.
Three organizers of Super Happy Fun America, the group behind the Straight Pride Parade, said they received letters.
‘I went out to my mailbox and there was an envelope in there with my name and address, no return address, the back was very heavily taped up and when I shook it I heard stuff shaking around inside,’ one organizer, Samson Racioppi, told CNN.
The group’s vice president Mark Sahady also received letters and he called the police.
Authorities found handwritten letters and glitter within the envelopes.
According to local news station NBC10, the letters read ‘Happy Pride’ in rainbow lettering and also contained Bible verses. One was Psalms 86:15: ‘But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…’
Bomb squads and authorities in hazmat suits investigated the letters.
FBI spokesperson Kristen Setera told CNN the investigation is ongoing, but they do not believe the letters pose any threat. A state official also said the letters don’t appear to have broken any state or federal laws.
A parade stirring up controversy
Sahady stated he believes people sent the letters because of the group’s planned Straight Pride parade.
City officials in Boston recently approved the permit for the August event. While many have called it homophobic, Sahady said it is ‘not anti-gay, but pro-straight’.
The parade is slated for 31 August. According to the approved permit, organizers anticipate 2,000 attendees.
Robb Johnson, Acting Executive Director of LGBTI rights group MassEquality, however, told GSN he expects ‘the people of Boston will show their true colors on parade day, and that counter protesters will far outnumber those marching’.