Catholic League president Bill Donohue is blasting beer companies that pulled their support for the St. Patrick’s Day parades this year.
Donohue Mondaycalled for Catholics to boycott the companies behind Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams for dropping their sponsorship of the parades in New York City and Boston over the refusal of organizers to allow gays and lesbians from marching under a banner.
In an email, Donohue blamed the “bullying” against the parade on its “Catholic element.”
“I have had my last Guinness and Sam Adams. Heineken was always slop, so there is no sacrifice there,” Donohue wrote. “I urge Catholics, and all those who believe in tolerance, diversity, and the First Amendment, to join with me in boycotting these brews.”
Donohue also denied that there’s a prohibition on gay and lesbian Irish people from participating in the parade, saying “they simply cannot march under their own banner.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council as a group didn’t march in yesterday’s parade because of its stand on LGBT groups marching.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch shared Donohue’s outrage over Guinness dropping its support, saying on Twitter that the parade has been “bullied” by LGBT organizations.
“Hope all Irish boycott the stuff,” he wrote.
Reps for Diageo and Boston Beer Company did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokeswoman at Heineken did not comment on Donohue’s boycott call but defended the company’s sponsorship decision. “We believe in equality for all people,” she said.
After Guinness on Sunday pulled out of the New York City parade, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis praised businesses for dropping their sponsorship.
“Hopefully, as parade organizers realize that anti-LGBT discrimination is not supported by sponsors, or many Irish New Yorkers, they’ll see that families like mine should be part of the celebration,” she said.
There were parade goers Monday divided over whether LGBT groups should march openly in the event.
Dan Nolan, a 56-year-old counselor from Poughkeepsie and a Catholic, thought Guinness’ decision is “just going to end up hurting them with their customer base.”
But Paul Porter, a 36-year-old engineer visiting from Jacksonville, Fla., said that while Catholics are free to join the boycott, “I can’t resist a pint of Guinness.” (
–With Cari Romm