Late last week Boston Beer Company, brewer of Sam Adams, announced that they would end their sponsorship of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to the fact that parade organizers would not allow LGBT veterans to march, openly, in the parade.
Shortly after this decision both Heineken and Guinness announced that they would not take part in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. While the moves were applauded by LGBT groups, and supporters of the LGBT community, there are others who are not very happy with the decisions. One of those groups is the Catholic League.
Catholic League president Bill Donahue has called for a boycott of all three beers.
None of these companies believe in diversity. No gay person has ever been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade, anymore than the parade bans pro-life Catholics or vegetarian Catholics; they simply cannot march under their own banner. The parade has one cause: honoring St. Patrick. Those who disagree do not have to march—that’s what diversity is all about.
The parade is quintessentially Catholic, beginning with a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is this Catholic element that angers those who are engaged in a bullying campaign against the St. Patrick’s Day parades. The bullies also have nothing but contempt for the constitutional rights of Irish Catholics.
In response to Donahue’s statement, Guinness released a statement.
The statement reads:
Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.
Late last week the Boston Beer Company stated:
We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year. We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.
We were hopeful that both sides of this issue would be able to come to an agreement that would allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in the parade. But given the current status of the negotiations, we realize this may not be possible.
Concluded Donahue “I have had my last Guinness and Sam Adams. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there. I urge Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with me in boycotting these brews.”
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