Sam Adams Brewer Backs Out of Boston Parade Over Gay Rights Conflict

Friday, 14 Mar 2014 06:45 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The company that brews Samuel Adams beer, the Boston Beer Co., has pulled its sponsorship from the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade because gay veterans won’t be allowed to march.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has also said that he won’t participate in the parade if the sponsoring group, the Allied Veterans War Council, won’t agree to let gay-rights group MassEquality march in the parade, the Boston Globe said.

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“We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast year after year,” Boston Beer Co. said in a statement. “We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.”

The Globe said Walsh has been attempting to negotiate with the War Council and that he would make one more attempt to reach an agreement Friday. The council had agreed to let MassEquality march if they didn’t wear anything that identified their sexual orientation. When MassEquality wouldn’t agree to that stipulation, they were told they couldn’t march.

Twitter lit up with support for the beer company’s decision.





In previous stories about the situation, the Boston Globe quoted a parade organizer who said there would “definitely not” be a compromise on the issue.

John Hurley went to the Supreme Court in 1995 and won a unanimous victory saying that he could exclude homosexuals from the parade, the Globe said.

Boston Pride, an organization that pushes for inclusivity in the Boston community, is participating in a Peace Parade organized by Veterans for Peace, which will be held Sunday after the South Boston parade, the organization’s website said.

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