The president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, is calling for a boycott of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams beer.
On March 17, Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, and Heineken pulled their sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade while the Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, withdrew its sponsorship of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The beer companies rescinded their sponsorships because parade organizers would not permit Gay groups to carry signs and banners professing their alternative lifestyle.
Donohue said that “The parade is quintessentially Catholic, beginning with a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is this Catholic element that angers those who are engaged in a bullying campaign against the St. Patrick’s Day parades. The bullies also have nothing but contempt for the constitutional rights of Irish Catholics.”
Moreover, Donohue explained that:
No gay person has ever been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade, anymore than the parade bans pro-life Catholics or vegetarian Catholics; they simply cannot march under their own banner. The parade has one cause: honoring St. Patrick. Those who disagree do not have to march–that’s what diversity is all about.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1995 that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council had a constitutional right to exclude marchers whose message they reject, including those who seek to identify themselves as gay, lesbian, and bisexual Irish-Americans. The Boston parade, one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation, draws as many as one million people to South Boston. Donohue further added that the ruling was a 9-0 decision and “that the First Amendment guarantees the right of private parade organizers to determine its own rules for marching. It is this liberty that the makers of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams want to squash.”
The Irish Catholic Donohue went on to say that “I have had my last Guinness and Sam Adams. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there. I urge Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with me in boycotting these brews.”