Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has called the New York decision to allow gays to march in the parade a “great victory” for the gay community.

“This fight and this debate is long gone by, so I’m hopeful that the Boston organizers will see what New York did and follow suit,” he said.

Walsh, who is set to go to Ireland shortly, refused to take part in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston because of the ban on openly gay participation. A last minute compromise collapsed to the satisfaction of South Boston activist John “Wacko” Hurley, who led the opposition to last year’s parade.

But gay groups in Boston are hopeful of a major change in Boston too.

“[NYC’s decision] is a small step in the right direction, and I hope it impacts what happens in Boston next year,” longtime gay activist Cathy Renna told “But the issue is not going to go away.”