TIME LGBT

Catholic League President Calls For Beer Boycott Over LGBT Rights

People cheer along 5th avenue during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York, March 17, 2014.
People cheer along 5th avenue during the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York, March 17, 2014. Shannon Stapleton—Reuters

Bill Donohue said Heineken, Guinness and Sam Adams were opposing free speech by pulling sponsorship from the St. Patrick's Day parades in New York and Boston. Both parades barred open LGBT participation

The President of the Catholic League has called for a boycott of Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams for pulling their sponsorship of St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York and Boston that barred LGBT groups from marching.

In a statement issued Monday calling for a boycott, Donohue called the beer makers bullies and said groups shouldn’t be allowed to march under their own banners in St. Patrick’s Day parades.

“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.”

Catholic League President Bill Donohue’s statement came after Guinness and Heineken withdrew their sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the maker of Sam Adams decided not to sponsor the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade. Both parades refused to let LGBT groups openly march.

“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation,” Guinness said in a statement.

The mayors of Boston and New York, Marty Walsh (D) and Bill de Blasio (D) also boycotted the parades.

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