US: Boston Beer Company drops sponsorship of St Patrick’s Day Parade over gay veteran ban

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The Boston Beer Company has dropped its sponsorship of the South Boston Saint Patrick’s Day Parade over a ban on gay veterans.

Gay rights advocates in the US state of Massachusetts announced recently that no deal has been made to allow gay veterans to march in this weekend’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Boston.

Following ongoing controversy, including the Mayor of Boston who has vowed a boycott of the event, the Samuel Brewers company have released a statement which was posted on Mass Equality:

“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.”

The mayors of New York and Boston have also both announced their plans to snub St Patrick’s Day parades in their respective cities because organisers continue to ban gay people from marching.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, however, is expected to march in the New York parade despite mounting pressure on him to follow Mayor De Blasio’s lead.