Gays have never been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade—they simply cannot march under their own banner. Neither can pro-life Catholics. The message of the St. Patrick’s Day parade is simple: it is to honor St. Patrick. It is not about any other cause. That’s why we have parades that celebrate other causes: it’s called respect for diversity.
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to sustain the right of private parade organizers to determine their own rules for participation. If this ruling were otherwise, then groups that seek to veto the message of any parade would be allowed to march, thus undercutting the purpose of the parade. This would effectively kill freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Guinness is showing its disrespect for diversity, its support for intolerance, and its contempt for the First Amendment rights of everyone associated with the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Make no mistake about it, Guinness chose to boycott this parade because of its quintessentially Catholic nature: radicals who hate the moral teachings of the Catholic Church fingered this parade because of its religious significance.
If Guinness reinstates its sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, this campaign will end. Until it does, I support the Catholic League’s boycott of Guinness.