Sam Adams has decided to withdraw its sponsorship from the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade Sunday after negotiations to allow a gay group to march in the parade broke down.
Boston Beer Company, which makes Sam Adams beers, said it was pulling its participation from the parade after pressure from Club Cafe, a popular South End gay bar.
Club Cafe had issued a statement Thursday on its Facebook page, announcing it would no longer serve Sam Adams so long as Boston Beer Company continued its sponsorship of the parade and the parade continued to refuse to allow LGBT people to march openly.
"It is hard to understand how a community like Boston ... that organizers of The St. Patrick's Day Parade feel it is just to discriminate against us as a community, and that Sam Adams does not take seriously the impact that their support of bigotry will have on their relationship to the LGBT community and their business," the statement said.
Boston Beer Company issued a statement Friday morning, announcing their decision to withdraw its sponsorship based on the "current status of negotiations" between Mayor Martin Walsh and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch and the parade organizers.
Walsh, himself an Irish-American, had been working to broker a deal between MassEquality, a gay rights group, and the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the parade's sponsor. He has also said he would refuse to march unless gay groups were allowed.
The brewer said it planned to continue to sponsor the annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast, also Sunday, which is regularly attended by many of the state's politicians.
For its part, Club Cafe said it was "again proud to serve Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company Products."
Full statement from Boston Beer Company:
"We have participated in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade and St. Patrick’s Day breakfast because of the rich history of the events, and to support veterans who have done so much for our country."
"We were hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this parade. However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible."
"We stand with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch, and other community leaders in our decision not to participate in this year’s parade, but will continue our strong support of the Boston community as well as Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition."
[NECN] [Club Cafe on Facebook]