St. Patrick’s Day: Guinness Pulls out of New York Parade Over Gay Rights

st patrick s day

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day differs from the previous ones greatly, especially since Guinness and other beer brands pulled out of the New York parade over gay rights. The refusal to sponsor the parade, not only in the Big Apple, but also in Boston came at the same time with the mayors’ unwillingness to take part in an event which does not allow the gay community to express itself through banners. The response of the parade organizers was that the celebration should be in accordance with the Roman Catholic heritage, and the latter believes that homosexuality activity is not moral.

St. Patrick’s Day is, to some extent, equivalent to Guinness, a key sponsor which pulled out of the New York parade over gay rights, since a march under LGBT banners was not allowed during the event. The company’s parent enterprise, Diageo, offered a statement according to which “Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all.” Although the brewer believed that the parade would allow all to take part in it, St. Patrick’s Day will not be the same after countless companies and mayors declined the offer to celebrate this event. However, this does not mean that Guinness abandoned the idea of an “inclusionary policy” and hopes that next year, things could change.

Parade of Dropouts

Before Guinness decided to pull out of the New York parade over gay rights, there were Heineken and Sam Adams, two companies which refused to be part of this event in the Big Apple and Boston.

According to Reuters, Boston’s Irish-American mayor, Marty Walsh, decided not to take part in St. Patrick’s Day after he could not convince organizers to allow lesbian and gay activists to march openly. Walsh also mentioned that he tried to transform this event into a celebration for all; but since “the parties were not able to come to an understanding,” he refused to honor the day without the gay community.

New York major Bill de Blasio also declined to take part in the parade on Monday, so the march along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will continue without him and Guinness.

Sam Adams and Heineken 

The reason why Sam Adams refused to be part in St. Patrick’s Day is because Boston’s Club Cafe, patronized by the gay community, threatened via a Facebook post to stop offering Sam Adams to customers unless the company pulls its sponsorship out of the parade.

At the other extreme, Heineken was praised by gay rights activists for its decision to withdraw from this event.

Celebration Across the Globe

Several global landmarks are bathed in green today in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day; Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris, Taj Mahal in India, the Las Vegas welcome sign, New York’s Empire State Building, the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx in Egypt are all on the list.

Many believe that March 17 should be an event open for all, during which people can enjoy a glass of beer and express freely, but this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness, Heineken, Sam Adams and the mayors of Boston and New York decided to pull out of the parade over gay rights.

By Gabriela Motroc



The New York Times

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