The Boston Beer Company, which produces Sam Adams beer, has pulled its support of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade over its exclusion of LGBT groups. The company released the following statement explaining its decision:
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.
We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade. We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition.
The statement speaks to recent “negotiations” between the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which sponsors the parade, and LGBT advocacy group MassEquality. A compromise was considered that would allow a group of gay veterans to march, so long as they wore nothing to identify themselves. The plan was scrapped when parade organizers accused MassEquality of a “ploy… to enter this parade under false pretenses.”
On Friday, Heineken announced that it was dropping its sponsorship of New York’s upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration. “We believe in equality for all. We are no longer a sponsor of Monday’s parade,” the company said.