US: Heineken joins boycott of NYC St Patrick’s parade over ban on gay groups

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Beer-maker Heineken has dropped its sponsorship of New York’s St Patrick’s Day parade, after controversy surrounding the parade’s ban on gay groups and families.

The parades in both New York and Boston face boycotts, including from the cities’ respective mayors, as organisers of both parades continue to ban gay people from marching.

Earlier today the Boston Beer Company, the makers of Samuel Adams beer, dropped their sponsorship of the Boston parade.

Heineken told GLAAD that they have pulled their sponsorship of the parade, which is estimated to attract over a million spectators annually, saying:  “We believe in equality for all. We are no longer a sponsor of Monday’s parade.”

However, GLAAD has criticized car manufacturer Ford, who have confirmed they will continue to sponsor the parade despite the controversy.

A statement from Ford said: “No one person, group or event reflects Ford’s views on every issue.

“Ford is involved in a wide range of events and organizations in communities across the country and around the world, including long-standing participation in this parade.

“What we can tell you is that Ford is proud of its inclusive policies. Every member of the Ford team is valued, and we provide employee benefits regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.”