The battle between gay rights activists and Irish-Americans who simply want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day parades without gay groups pushing their agenda triggered Guinness Beer to drop its sponsorship of the New York parade.
The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade ruled against gay groups carrying pro-gay signs and other paraphernalia that would openly call attention to their LGBT identity.
Heineken had already dropped its sponsorship of the New York parade because of the ban on gay activists, and Sam Adams had previously done the same with the Boston parade.
Not to be outdone, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was boycotting the New York parade because of the gay issue. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh did not march in Boston’s parade on Sunday.
But Ireland’s head of government, Enda Kenny, ignored pressure from gay groups and attended Boston’s parade and is planning on marching in New York’s parade on Monday. He said, “The St. Patrick’s Day parade (in New York) is a parade about our Irishness and not about sexuality, and I would be happy to participate in it.”
Meanwhile, LGBT groups planned to protest the New York parade along Fifth Avenue, with some scheming to drop Guinness from the shelves of the Stonewall Inn, where the gay rights movement started, to protest the sponsorship of Guinness. That plan was canceled when Guinness yielded to their pressure.