After beer companies Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams all yanked their support for St. Patrick's Day parades in New York and Boston after organizers banned gay and lesbian groups from marching openly, the director of a prominent Catholic group is calling for a boycott of those brands.
"We were hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this parade," Sam Adams said in a statement prior to Sunday’s parade in Boston. "However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible."
According to a press release from Catholic League President Bill Donohue, “the parade has one cause: honoring St. Patrick. Those who disagree do not have to march -- that’s what diversity is all about.”
Donohue is advocating that people no longer drink products from Diageo -- the parent company of Guinness, and Heineken -- or the Boston Beer Company, which sells Sam Adams.
“The parade is quintessentially Catholic, beginning with a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” Donohue wrote. “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.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also boycotted Monday’s parade, becoming the first mayor in 20 years to refuse to march.
“I have had my last Guinness and Sam Adams. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there,” Donohue wrote. “I urge Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with me in boycotting these brews.”