Sam Adams Beer Pulls Out of Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade Over Refusal of Gay Groups


Samuel Adams beer has pulled out as a sponsor of the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade over its refusal to allow gays to march in the parade, according to a statement from the Boston Beer Company:

"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.  We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.

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.  

We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade.  We will continue to support Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and her St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. We wish her all the best in her historic stewardship of this tradition."

 MassEquality had been negotiating with parade organizers to march in the parade and had at one point been offered an agreement that they could march so long as they did not identify as a gay group.

Negotiations went downhill from there and a few days ago the group received what it says was a "hostile" rejection from parade organizers.


  1. JackFknTwist says

    It’s high effing time that the American Irish caught up with what it means to be Irish.

    These American Irish have disgraced their name in their pursuit of old abandoned attitudes of bigotry and malice. In a world where equality and respect for difference has triumphed, this gang exposes itself as the angry old white dudes which has not adapted to change.

    we are Irish, we are gay. Why shouldn’t we be in our National day Parade ?
    Move over, you stuffy old fools.

  2. TampaZeke says

    I don’t get why this year is different from any of the other 10+ years that they’ve participated in the bigot parade. It’s not like it wasn’t well known that gays were barred all of those years.

  3. Kevin says

    Tampazeke, this issue received renewed attention because Boston has a new mayor. Menino was in office for 20 years and for a long time had not participated in the parade. But Menino is of Italian decent and the new mayor is of Irish decent. It really should not matter in this day and age, but it does. the Irish American neighborhoods really came out and voted for Walsh, helping him get elected. I think his choice to not participate in the parade this year really brought attention. With media attention of course comes increassed pressure on everyone involved and so Sam Adams (headquarters in Boston) made this change.

  4. Michael says

    Good for Sam Adams. Once more the issue is clear. Act as you wish. Act in whatever exclusionary way you want to act. But, in a society that is more interested in inclusion, don’t expect to be supported, particularly financially, by those of us who think your passe ignorance is worth a red cent.

  5. David From Canada says

    It’s great that Samuel Adams beer has taken a stand – they’re the good guys. Why are gays not allowed to openly march in so many American St. Patrick Day’s parades? It’s pretty dumb, and something left over from a long time ago.

  6. MaryM says

    The Irish-Americans who run these parades are NOT Irish. They are American. They disgrace and embarrass Ireland, and Ireland wants NOTHING to do with them.

  7. says


    for the life of me, it’s all just so baffling.

    an Irish “holiday” celebrating a Scottish Protestant that is marked by consuming booze and general public drunkenness and people have decided ….that we need to keep The gays out of it?

    The mind boggles.

  8. Jack M says

    I love the Irish and Irish Americans, but they do seem to have a bit of a hangup about sex, especially the men. Of course, this is true of some other cultures as well.

  9. jtramon says

    GEEZ. C’mon guys, for the last time:

    Bostons’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade (as well as New York’s) is a CATHOLIC organized event first, then Irish.

    The New York Parade starts with a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the CATHOLIC church primarly screaming about gays being in the parade. If gays are willing to march in the parade WITHOUT any kind of Gay Pride banner, or identifying signs-then we’re welcome.

    Want to march in their parade and carry a rainbow flag – forgetaboutit. They don’t want us. This has always been a Catholic/Irish event, and the Catholic church both in Boston and New York call the shots.

    So, JACKFKNTWIST, you’ve got to get your facts straight. It’s just more of the Catholic anti-gay sentiment. Don’t hold a rainbow flag in their parade, and don’t sit in the pews if you can’t shut up about our sexuality.

  10. says

    if Irish Catholics can celebrate a Scottish Protesant Saint, they can do so alongside gays. after all, they’re doing so alongside millions of non-catholic hetero birth-control using drunken fornicators anyway, right? 😀

  11. Jameson says

    Hey JTRAMON – The Boston parade is not a Catholic even in any respect at all. It does not start with a mass, it is not organized by the church, it is not part of the church.

    Get your facts straight…or gay. Either way.

  12. Jason Jehosephat says

    “We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.” What does St. Patrick’s day have to do with supporting veterans?

  13. woody says

    huh? patrick was catholic. and today he’d be considered welsh as he was from the west coast of southern britain before the angles came over from continental europe.

  14. Jason Jehosephat says

    What is this “Protestant saint” business? He was considered a saint in Ireland for a thousand years before there was a such a thing as Protestantism.

  15. Craig says

    OK, I’ll bite. How is Patrick, who lived in the 5th century (died ca 461, 1000+ years before the Reformation) and born a Romano-Brython actually a Protestant Scot? He was born in Roman Cumbria, not in Scotland. The celebration in Ireland of the Feast of Saint Patrick as well as his designation as the patron saint of Ireland began well before the Reformation. He had no Protestant connections. As for Scottish ones, some of his work in spreading Christianity certainly was in modern Scotland (principally in the Isles and west coast areas) in addition to his work throughout Ireland and even in Late Roman and Sub-Roman Britain (Brython).

  16. CPT_Doom says

    Thank you all for the correction as to who St. Patrick was, and as a proud Irish-American, I applaud the makers of Sam Adams for their decision.

    As for the holiday itself, it was always described to me, by my sainted Irish mother Mary Margaret, as a celebration of Irish achievement in the US. We are the classic minority group – came here dirt poor, faced significant discrimination and nonetheless managed to scale the heights of America, to the point we’ve become a pivotal part of the society.

  17. DB says

    This discrimination actually is illegal. The city of Boston should ban the parade entirely. While any private club is free to discriminate, they are not free to use public streets. This is the reason that white-only krewes in New Orleans were forced to racially integrate their Mardi Gras parades. Some krewes, such as Momus and Comus, refused to allow blacks to join and quite parading (instead just having private balls). Most krewes, both white and black, acquiesced.

  18. JackFknTwist says

    @ JACK M :

    we love sex !
    But ireland has been very busy shaking off the domination of the Catholic Church in all walks of life, education, politics, personal mores, sexuality and so on.

    We have made enormous strides.
    Be assured Dublin is now one of the main gay cities in Europe.

  19. Pablo says

    It should be noted that a gay club in Boston were the ones who made this happened. They announced they wouldn’t be selling Sam Adams anymore, and the beer maker made quite the quick turn around.

  20. jjose712 says

    Diddler: You are stupid beyond belief, like all the trolls in the webpage.

    St Patrick day is celebrated in Ireland, and they don’t have any problem with gays participating in the event

  21. Andy says

    I’m still waiting to see gay contingents marching in the Columbus Day, Puerto Rican Day, West Indian Day, Pulaski Day, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day,,,etc NYC parades.

    Why is there no gay representation in these parades?

  22. Harrison says

    South Boston resident here. Dreading this weekend, it’s just a mess all around. A few additional thoughts (that may have been covered in previous posts, sorry if it’s a duplicate):

    1. The guy in charge of organizing this parade every year is literally nicknamed “Wacko.” So, that’s a thing…

    2. The parade is sponsored by a group called the Allied Veterans War Council. The gay group that wanted to march was a group of gay veterans. It’s surprising to me how many people think that it’s just a bunch of gay guys and lesbians who walked out of Ramrod and decided they wanted to march in this parade just to tick people off. (There was some controversy when it was alleged that there really weren’t that many gay veterans in the group and it was all just a plot to protest.)

    3. This group is so against gay people marching in their parade that they literally made a Supreme Court case out of it, which they are very proud to trot out the verdict as often as possible.

    4. They also banned a group called Veterans for Peace from the parade, because apparently veterans aren’t allowed to want peace, so there’s actually a second parade that follows the first one.

    Basically it’s a whole bunch of sound and fury and the free market is working itself out as expected. I will be curious to see what happens next year – I believe I read that the group which sponsors the St Patrick’s Day Parade never applies for, nor pays for, a city permit to host a parade, and it’s well known that the city of Boston has to pay over $300,000 in overtime costs to police and city officials… so I wonder if there will be some sort of “bureaucratic issue” next year if they don’t allow groups in.

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