Following the decision of New York City and Boston parade organizers to continually prohibit sexuality-related signage, The Guardian announced that Sam Adams, Heineken, and most recently Guinness have all pulled sponsorship from their city’s respective St. Patrick’s Day processions. This also follows the denunciation by New York City and Boston mayors Bill de Blasio and Marty Walsh, respectively. Though parade organizers insist that homosexual groups are technically welcome, the banner prohibition has led to a massive uprising of LGBTQ allies.
De Blasio said, “I will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish-Americans, but I simply disagree with the organizers of the parade in their exclusion of some individuals in this city.”
“So much of our Irish history has been shaped by the fight against oppression,” Walsh agreed. “As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city.”
officially withdrew after a popular Boston gay bar threatened to stop serving the city’s most popular brew, and Heineken released a statement to CNBC explaining, “We believe in equality for all. We are no longer a sponsor of Monday’s parade.” Guinness, a key sponsor for the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade, followed suit yesterday after the city elected to uphold its policy for prior years.
“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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.”
In light of this announcement, The Stonewall Inn has announced that it will continue to support the sale of Guinness its establishment.
In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to legalize gay marriage. New York became the fifth and largest in June of 2011. As of Monday afternoon, parade organizers were unavailable for comment.