Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, and Heineken, recently pulled their sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade; the Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, has withdrawn its sponsorship of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
None of these companies believe in diversity. No gay person has ever been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade, anymore than the parade bans pro-life Catholics or vegetarian Catholics; they simply cannot march under their own banner. The parade has one cause: honoring St. Patrick. Those who disagree do not have to march—that’s what diversity is all about.
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.
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decision that the First Amendment guarantees the right of private parade organizers to determine its own rules for marching. It is this liberty that the makers of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams want to squash. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there.
Donohue urges Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with him in boycotting these brews.
We are focusing our efforts on Guinness because it is the most prominent of the brewers. We are contacting many Catholic groups, and virtually all Irish ones, asking for their support. The intolerance that Guinness is showing must not go unanswered.