- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2014

Boston Beer Co., the maker of the Samuel Adams brew — and the same company that omitted mentioning God in its Declaration of Independence-based ad — now faces a new flap: It’s pulled its sponsorship from the local St. Paddy’s Day parade after learning gay veterans can’t participate in it.

“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,” the company said, in a statement reported by the Boston Herald. “We’ve done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country.”

Boston Beer Co. officials have even marched down the parade streets in recent years — but not so this year. Gay-rights group MassEquality and the parade organizers, Allied Veterans War Council, had a communication breakdown about who would be able to take part in the parade. Organizers said gays couldn’t march, and outcry ensued.

One local cafe threatened to stop selling Samuel Adams “until such time as either the parade organizers change their position, or Sam Adams removes its support of the St. Patrick Day Parade,” the Boston Herald reported.

Gay rights groups, meanwhile, expressed their own outrage. Boston Beer, caught in the middle, and upset at the parade’s refusal to let gays march, pulled its participation.

“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,” Boston Beer Co. said, the Boston Herald reported.

Last July, Boston Beer was involved in another controversy that rocked national headlines, over an advertisement for Samuel Adams. The ad posed the question: “Why name a beer after Samuel Adams?”

The ad then quoted the Declaration of Independence — minus mention of God.

The ad stated: “All men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the actor stated. The documents states, however, that all men are “endowed by the Creator” with the rights.

Samuel Adams‘ Facebook page was racked with criticism after that spot. The company ultimately admitted the omission was on purpose, but said it was done to abide industry policy.


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