The Boston Beer Company, which brews Sam Adams, is pulling its support from the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade because parade organizers will not allow a group of gay veterans to march openly.
“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,” read a statement released Friday by the beer company.
Talks broke down this week between parade organizers and MassEquality, a Massachusetts gay rights group, after the two sides failed to reach a deal to allow a group of gay veterans to openly march in Sunday’s parade. “It’s over,” MassEquality’s executive director Kara S. Coredini told the Boston Globe. “We won’t be there.”
The failure of the negotiations also dealt a blow to Boston’s Democratic Mayor Martin J. Walsh who threw his support behind MassEquality’s efforts. Mayor Walsh tried again on Thursday to broker a deal, but was unsuccessful.
Once negotiations started to break down, Mayor Walsh’s spokesperson told the Globe that he was “disappointed.” For their part, parade organizers did not respond to a request for comment by the Globe.
Ahead of its decision to break with the parade, Sam Adams began receiving pressure from local businesses. Club Cafe, one of the city’s best known gay establishments posted an open letter on its Facebook page earlier this week announcing that it would stop selling Sam Adams until parade organizers changed their tune or Sam Adams dropped its support.
After Sam Adams broke with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Club Cafe again took to Facebook announcing that it was “again proud to serve Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company products.”
Sam Adams has been a supporter of the South Boston parade for nearly a decade and says it will continue to support the city’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, another storied tradition in America’s most Irish city.