Sam Adams Pulls Out of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Amid Controversy

Until the event is all-inclusive, Sam Adams won’t associate their brand with the annual celebration.

Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams brew, will cease sponsorship and their role in the St. Patrick’s Day parade this weekend amid controversy. In an email to Boston, a spokesperson said they’re backing city officials that have vowed to skip the celebration due to the ban on gay veterans and people from the LGBTQ community from openly marching in the event.

“We will not be participating in the parade this year,” the statement from Boston Beer Company said.

In the past, Sam Adams has participated in both the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the 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.”

But this year, after backlash from places like Club Café, who announced they would stop serving Sam Adams products unless gay people could openly march in the parade with signs and banners, or the company pulled out of its sponsorship role, Sam Adams is instead backing down.

After initially blasting Sam Adams for sponsoring the parade, Club Café applauded the beer makers for reversing their involvement:

Club Café wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to Boston Beer Company and Sam Adams for its decision to pull back its support of this year’s South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and standing against any organization that practices discrimination. As a result of this we are again proud to serve Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company Products.

Boston Beer Company said they were still hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this year’s parade. “However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible,” they said.

The company said they “stand” with Mayor Marty Walsh and other elected officials who are skipping out on the parade due to the lack of inclusivity. And while they won’t have their brand in any way associated with the march, they will still support the other part of tradition in the city—the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

“[We] 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,” the company said.

ADVERTISMENT

  • lynn julian

    I am so proud to have backed Mayer Marty Walsh, be a patron of Club Cafe and now a supporter Sam Adams for not supporting the St Patrick’s Day parade exclusion of the LGBT veterans float. the decision to take away their float permit is wrong on so many levels. I was so sure it would be reversed by now and I’m so disappointed it was not. thank you to everyone who has voice their support for equality in Boston!

    strength through unity,

    Lynn julian
    http://PopSuperhero.com

    • Justin Edwards

      Blatant advertiser

    • Joyce Clemons

      Technically, all you are calling for is less equality. This is a free speech legal matter and the net effect of doing things your way would ultimately reduce free speech protections for gay Bostonians. Ask your little Leprechaun to put the pinching shoe on the other foot. It’ll fit better when it is where it belongs. God forbid you might think this through before you fulminate. And you spelled Mayor wrong.

  • joanmcn@aol.com

    I hope the parade goes on without their support because threatening people is no way to get them on your side.Tolerance is the key and people can agree to disagree.Maybe they could hold thier own parade and do what they like.Nobody has a problem with that. Stop trying to change age old traditions and church morals. It is St. Patrick for heavens sake…

    • TellUWut

      Many age old traditions are not good things. If we never progressed, we’d still be cavepeople.

      I’ve been to this parade. It’s not exactly a catholic mass. Gay people can yell and be drunk in public too!

    • Shane McGarry

      *bangs head against the wall* It is not being intolerant or “threatening” when you refuse to allow people to discriminate against another group of people. Irish LGBT Americans and veterans have just as much right to march in the parade as straight people. The fact that you think its ok for them to exclude people from the celebration is highly disturbing to me.

      • reason1984

        The LGBT community is not barred from participating. The organizers asked the LGBT veterans not to display banners and placards advertising their sexual orientation…just as they would probably object to some group displaying a placard stating, “I’m straight and proud.” It’s about celebrating St. Patrick.

        MassEquality engages in cheap agitprop.

        • TellUWut

          So ban all banners and signs and demonstrations of the identities of other participating groups and we’ll call it even, deal?

          Sounds like a really fun parade doesn’t it.

          • Justin Edwards

            WRONG, but nice try.

          • TellUWut

            What’s wrong? Your argument is that the parade is only about being Irish. So any sign related to any identity other than Irish heritage should be taken away.

          • reason1984

            St. Patrick was a Brit.

          • TellUWut

            Tell Justin Edwards that. He says let the parade be about being Irish. Not my words.

          • Justin Edwards

            It’s a private parade. Leave the sexual preference home.

          • TellUWut

            Its not a private parade, it utilizes city resources, city police officers, and city streets, paid for by the tax payers of Boston Massachusetts.

          • Joyce Clemons

            Hurley v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995) says it is private free speech expression even if it is on a public street. And MassEquality is well aware of that.

          • TellUWut

            Nice try. The court ruling doesn’t change the reality that the event is held on public land and protected by city police officers paid with tax payer moneys.

          • Joyce Clemons

            Nice try. SCOTUS rulings coin the supreme law of the land. The speech is private. No different than any other demonstration in public. You might want to read the ruling. It relates to Boston South as those were the litigants. I doubt that the veterans council would have proceeded as they have if they weren’t fully aware the law and ruling gave them the backing to do so..after all, it has been 19 years since the ruling. In any event, I hope the parade was good for the neighborhood otherwise and I honestly hope that MASSEquality applies for the permit next year and gets their supporters backing to do what is probably an arduous task, including setting the example for what they think is inclusive, since that is what they are saying they wanted all along. And if they don’t, the same case law will, this time, back them up in private speech in a public place.

          • TellUWut

            Then the South Boston St. Patrick’s day parade sponsors should be purchasing their own private land, paying for their own private police force, and not generally disrupting the business of the city. Just because a judge says something, doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means a judge has said something.

          • reason1984

            ‘Just because a judge says something,’

            The SCOTUS is ‘a judge,’ who knew.

          • TellUWut

            awww look, there goes the point. wave goodbye!

          • Joyce Clemons

            For one, a city decides who gets a parade permit. For another, there isn’t a parade in the country that isn’t run by a committee, and frequently, the committee represents a private group. For another, a citizen/resident of the city can discuss this at city council and they will make decisions about general parade policy in consultation with the public AND the city attorney. For another, cities all over the US permit PRIDE parades. Run your idea past your local LGBT group and see if they like it. Like I said, the same ruling that supports the outcome this week supports the gay community in controlling the message of their private speech on public property.I support the free speech of the Gay community as represented by their PRIVATE groups to express their private speech on public streets in their PRIDE parade and as represented in any parade where the application is approved by the private group who applied for the permit.. Most cities do. Also parades are generally viewed as boons to adjacent businesses. That is good for the South Boston economic climate. You puzzle me, but you have the right to your opinion.

          • Joyce Clemons
      • Thomas Mc

        “but, they’re infinging on my right to be an A-hole!”

    • Thomas Mc

      He drove the snakes out of Ireland, now it’s time to drive the Bigots out of the Boston Parade!

    • Thomas Mc

      “Church morals”? MORALS? Would this be that Church whose priests RAPE little boys, and the Church covers it up by threatening to EXCOMMUNICATE the VICTIMS if they go public, and protect the perverts who did it?

      That kind of “morality” can go back to HELL, where it came from!

  • Al McDonnell

    Interestingly enough, LGBT folk are allowed to march and participate in the St. Patrick’s festivities in Ireland. Too bad the parade organizers in
    Southie haven’t seen fit to do the same.

    • reason1984

      LGBT folk are allowed to march in Boston’s parade, as well. The organizers told them they were welcome, but they could not display banners and placards advertising their sexual orientation.

      Look for Holder to stick his nose in it…it’s an election year.

      • Joyce Clemons

        Holder could rant all he wants. It’s settled case law.Hurley
        v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995), What’s more, MASSEquality is well aware of it, and knows that the same SCOTUS decision that covers The Veterans Council (parade organizers) tush will one day soon help MASSEquality exclude anti-gay rights haters from ruining their Pride events. There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on here. Having said that, why didn’t the gay advocacy groups of Boston challenge the veteran’s group for the parade permit in the first place? Isn’t 19 years enough to give them a clue about how to skin this cat? What, aren’t there enough Gay Irish in Boston to pull it off? (sorry for any visuals…)

        • reason1984

          Holder and the law, settled or not, often diverge. Look for Holder to make this an election year issue anyway.

  • joanmcn@aol.com

    Age old traditions are just that- traditions- stop trying to change them and come up with your own. Jamming things down people’s throats will never get them to accept you. Move on. The problem with the world is we don’t have enough traditions…..

    • http://www.scrampf.com Bob

      It’s hardly worth trying to change someone’s mind who uses an AOL.com email address (must be one of your traditions), but there’s nothing about this particular “tradition” that should have any bearing on gays. Drinking and acting like a moron aren’t in your Bible either, but I’m sure you have no problem with that. I’m sure at some point in the “tradition” blacks weren’t allowed to march, would you like to bring that back too?

      • Justin Edwards

        This isn’t about the bible or blacks you loser

        • http://www.scrampf.com Bob

          I never said it was, just that it was the same. It shows that “tradition” is more often than not just a way for people to act discriminatory and pretend they’re not. And if you can explain to me how this is any different than forcibly excluding any other minority group throughout history, I will certainly give you a cookie. The only reason the comparison makes you uncomfortable is because history has shown which side of that argument were right, while history hasn’t yet caught up with the homophobes.

      • joanmcn@aol.com

        Hey Bob- I think you just showed your true colors…I think what you come down to is a jerk- nothing gay about that….

        • Guest

          Indeed, my true colors, standing up for a marginalized group of fellow humans against ignorant bigots. I’m definitely the jerk in this discussion.

        • http://www.scrampf.com Bob

          Indeed, my true colors, standing up for a marginalized group of fellow humans against ignorant bigots. I’m definitely the jerk in this discussion.

          • reason1984

            It’s hardly worth trying to change someone’s mind who uses anAOL.com email address (must be one of your traditions),’

            Pretty much what a smarmy jerk would add to a ‘discussion.’

          • http://www.scrampf.com Bob

            I’m sure the irony is lost on you, but really? So marginalizing an entire swath of the population because of their sexual preferences makes you some sort of saint, but my making fun of someone’s EMAIL address makes me a smarmy jerk? That would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

          • reason1984

            I hereby de-marginalize you. Be happy. Slainte.

          • http://www.scrampf.com Bob

            Aww, that’s sweet, but I’m a white, straight (yes, I’m straight, despite my stance in this debate), male in his 30’s living in the US. I could not be LESS marginalized.

  • mcslimjb

    This is what happens when the country evolves: if you’re a business, you start figuring out, “Hey, being associated with bigotry against one group doesn’t just hurt my business with the oppressed minority. One restaurant dropping my product won’t put the tiniest dent in my bottom line. But there are a bunch of people who object to bigotry in general — they have colleagues, neighbors, good friends and relatives in the minority, or they just object to hatred on principle — and all those people abandoning our brand is really going to hurt.”

    You haven’t been bullied, homophobes. You’ve just been left behind by an increasingly enlightened, tolerant society, one in which young people in particular are saying, “Oh, grandpa, why are you such an embarrassment?” Smart corporations know better than to hang their profits on your dwindling numbers.

    • Justin Edwards

      I have a wonderful idea. Let’s keep the Irish parade about being Irish and leave out the gay stuff.

      • mcslimjb

        Does that mean you favor kicking out the veterans and the Stormtroopers?

        • Justin Edwards

          Stormtroopers???

          • ohio man

            There are Star Wars storm troopers in the parade. Why? Who knows. But as long as they aren’t openly gay storm troopers, it’s apparently OK.

          • mcslimjb

            Not so. By Justin’s standard, they would have to be Irish Stormtroopers, as the parade is purely about being Irish and nothing else.

          • Justin Edwards

            Gay sock accounts and members of NAMBLA conversing with each other, hilarious!

          • mcslimjb

            Wow, how quickly you gave up when you spotted the gaping hole in your own argument, Justin.

          • Justin Edwards

            The truth isn’t a gaping hole. keep the gay flags and gay stuff at home, it has nothing to do with St.Patrick. Save it for Providence Town

          • mcslimjb

            Quit ducking the question, Justin. If the parade is purely Irish, does that mean you think the veterans and the Stormtroopers should be excluded, too? Be brave: you can answer this one.

          • Justin Edwards

            No. They are not PERVERTS pushing a sexual agenda like the gays are.

          • reason1984

            Yep…We’re here, we’re plumbers, get used to it.

          • Justin Edwards

            Nope. Fruits have zero business in a Irish parade. P.S. St. Patrick was Italian.

          • reason1984

            Okay…Romano-British.

            The plumber reference was pointing out the false equivalence of comparing a community activist organization (MassEquality) with say, the local plumbers union.

          • mcslimjb

            Oh, come on, kehd, you can do it! Don’t be afraid! You said, “It’s only for the Irish.” I pointed out, “There’s lots of non-Irish participants in the parade. How do you explain that?” We’re all pulling for you to work this one out, Justin! Put your thinking cap on!

          • Justin Edwards

            They can stay if not gay.

          • mcslimjb

            This is the useful thing about homophobes like Justin: they’re usually too dumb to conceal their bigotry. Give his stupid excuse (“It’s for the Irish”) the simplest logical challenge, and he immediately falls back to his true sentiment, “Anyone but the gays.” Putz.

          • Joyce Clemons

            Why doesn’t MassEquality just apply for next year’s Parade Permit Monday Morning? Then they can have all the fun when the Black Tea Party applies for a float…

          • Joyce Clemons

            Here, what’s the big deal…Certainly there are enough Gay Irish persons in Boston to pull this off….https://www.cityofboston.gov/transportation/raceparade.asp

          • Thomas Mc

            How about we all just avoid the Bigot Parade, altogether!

          • mcslimjb

            Sounds like someone is defending the bigot parade who has never actually watched it.

      • Shane McGarry

        There is “no stuff”. This is about letting Irish Americans or veterans who also just happen to be LGBT march in the parade alongside everybody else. But judging from your comments, you really don’t like the idea of them getting equal treatment. Tsk tsk.

        • reason1984

          Wrong. ‘Openly march,’ means carrying banners announcing their sexual orientation. Leave your banners at home, and join the march. Dispense with the cheap exhibitionism, and celebrate St. Patrick.

          MassEquality manufactures a tempest in a teapot

          • Justin Edwards

            reason1984………Well said!

          • Joyce Clemons

            That is correct. If this is about equality of free speech, will there be a cadre of Black Tea Party members allowed to march in a Pride parade? No, and would MassEquality have the right to exclude such a group? YES. Hurley v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995), is a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding free speech
            rights, specifically the rights of groups to determine what message their
            activities convey to the public.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurley_v._Irish-American_Gay,_Lesbian,_and_Bisexual_Group_of_Boston The Court ruled that
            private organizations, even if they were planning on and had permits for a
            public demonstration, were permitted to exclude groups if those groups
            presented a message contrary to the one the organizing group wanted to convey.
            Addressing the specific issues of the case, the Court found that private
            citizens organizing a public demonstration may not be compelled by the state to
            include groups who impart a message the organizers do not want to be presented
            by their demonstration, even if the intent of the state was to prevent
            discrimination.

          • reason1984

            Thank you.

      • TellUWut

        How about gay Irish veterans. Did they not fight for this country because of their orientation in your mind??

      • Thomas Mc

        Because of course there are not gay Irish peole, right?

        Homeschooled?

    • joanmcn@aol.com

      You’re no better than the school yard bully in this fight .This is not about bigotry…I say to you take your views across most of the rest of the country and see how “tolerant” most people are…Interesting that you don’t know my sexual orientation yet make an assumption based on no facts…And you think you’re not a bully?

  • Justin Edwards

    Sam Adam’s = Lame

    • Thomas Mc

      Bigotry is a disease. Seek help.

  • Justin Edwards

    Hey what next? The marchers are not ‘dark’ enough? Not enough rainbow flags?

    • Thomas Mc

      No, too many fascist bigots!

  • Jesse Jones

    We get it .. you’re gay. What does that have to do with St. Patrick’s Day?

    • Thomas Mc

      We get it, you’re a bigot. Keep it to yourself.

  • ohio man

    I’m not sure some people posting have seen the parade, but it includes a ton of entries that don’t have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day or Ireland or Southie. The confused-sounding former parade organizer “Wacko,” who still apparently calls the shots, initially told the Herald that he’s a bigot last week and that gays couldn’t march because he said so. Real profile in courage. What more proof do you want that this is not about Ireland or St. Patrick but about anti-gay bigotry?

    This utterly stupid nonsense is one of Boston’s last stains of dishonor, and it deserves the scrap heap of history with the rest of them. It’s 2014, and most of Boston loves Boston for the diverse, cosmopolitan, amazing city it is today, not some fake version that never existed back in the supposed good old days. Too bad they won’t join the rest of us and finally clear our good city’s name.

  • reason1984

    A desperate cry for attention, that has absolutely nothing to do with gay rights. The parade is all inclusive. Leave you narcissistic, self-absorbed banners and attitudes at home, and come join the celebration of St. Patrick…sheeesh.

  • redsongia

    The old timers can try and hold on to the old, bigoted ways a few more years, perhaps. 4 proud old school Southie residents were arrested today for beating some guy up on the red line for no reason. Soon, there will be no more if these folks left to plague South Boston with their “traditions”

  • Justin Edwards

    There are little kids and pre teens and teens at the parade. Why the gays have to bring in adult sexual issues into St. Patrick’s Day?? That’s just WRONG!!.

    • Midway C.J

      Because people are born gay and these are veterans who fought for your freedom to post ignorant comments on the internet.

      • Justin Edwards

        After WW2 the wars America were involved in were fought for the politicians and corporations, paranoia and arm chair office bravado.

  • Thomas Mc

    Good for them, it’s become a “Parade of Bigots”, anyway.

    • reason1984

      Making a blanket statement such as ‘Parade of Bigots’ is exactly what bigots engage in…”Collective Condemnation.”

      Think about it.

  • Glenn Little

    this
    is the most pathetic thing I have read to date, Whom in the hell gives a
    dam what sexuality status service men and women are.. it is not about
    gay or lesbian rights.. it is about the right for gay and lesbian
    serving in the armies.. when will people
    get this though their thick skull’s and get it into them, that it is
    about open acceptance even for those that serve have the right to have
    their voice heard and show support and strenth no matter what. towards
    Gay and Lesbian Vetrans. Shame on you Sam Davis.. Hang You’re head Low
    in Shame.. I support equal open rights for all sexualities.. no matter
    what that is.. and Shame on you too Boston Officals.. Hang You’re Heads
    in Shame too, and those that support this move..

    • Justin Edwards

      Let’s keep the sexual preferences out of the parade.

    • Glenn Little

      my point is it is not about sexuality, just saying why should it, be, men and women of all back grounds, are all fighting for the same things, and the rights of Freedom for their country’s and others too.. and I owe an appolgize to Sam Davis, I got my wires crossed last night, and see that he only pulled out, because of the Boston Officials, trying to ban the LGBT support of St Patricks day veterans of all that served in thanks for their freedom of right.. so I appolgize for my misunderstanding there.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GowMI4wvmU4 Phaerisee

    erin go bragh

    • reason1984

      Careful, don’t want to offend anyone now.

      Sláinte

  • Thom

    What a backwater of hatred the US has become. It used to be just the deep south, but now it’s even in northern cities that used to be known for their liberalism. Shameful and disgusting. My family is from Ireland and get this you ignorant morons, in Ireland our St. Patrick’s Day Parades are all-inclusive. Yes, you heard me. Gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, people of all colors and creeds are allowed in parades in Ireland! The real Erin Go Bragh parades are celebrations of all the diversity that is 21st century Ireland, not some cliched stereotypes of drunken green leprechauns and four leaf clovers and hate-filled right-wing Catholics.

    • Justin Edwards

      Troll harder with the fake claims.

    • reason1984

      ‘What a backwater of hatred the US has become.’

      Generalize much?

      ‘My family is from Ireland and get this you ignorant morons,’

      Ah yes, your hate runneth over.

      ‘Gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, people of all colors and creeds are allowed in parades in Ireland!’

      Here, as well.

      Slainte.

  • Marie

    In Gods love ing and holy sight, No man or women is black or white , gay or any color or any choice as long as you follow the golden rule ! Amen !

  • tonyr62

    It should be illegal for a company to decide not to sponsor a parade because they don’t agree with its message. In fact, for religious freedom to mean anything, everyone must be forced to march in the St. Patrick’s day parade .

    /snark