In yet another sign that anti-gay policies can hurt your business, event and even political party, Sam Adams announced today that it will no longer serve as a sponsor for South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to event organizers’ refusal to allow a group of openly gay veterans to join the march thanks to rules that “bar any political expression.”
The statement from the parent Boston Beer Company:
“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.”
This decision followed an attempt at compromise between the parade’s organizers, local politicians and the advocacy group MassEquality. It seems the decision reached was that the gay vets group would be free to participate…as long as they kept quiet on the very principle that inspired them to organize in the first place.
It looks to us like Sam Adams is only the latest company to determine that supporting events in which openly gay Americans cannot participate is no longer an acceptable compromise.