Sponsors cite anti-LGBT ban in dropping Boston parade support

Samuel Adams beerBY CANDY PARKER
Lesbian.com

There will be fewer and fewer “bottles of beer on the wall” as beer sponsors continue to withdraw sponsorship of the Boston St. Patrick’s Parade. Both Boston Beer, brewers of Sam Adams, and Heineken have dropped their support from the event, citing a long-standing ban on the participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups.

Sam Adams had drawn criticism from Boston-area gay bars and restaurants who had threatened to boycott the brew if the company continued to sponsor the parade. In response to such pressures, Boston Beer issued this statement earlier in the week:

“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.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Heineken told CNBC on Friday, “We believe in equality for all. We are no longer a sponsor of Monday’s parade.”

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is slated to take place today.

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