NYC St. Paddy's Parade Gets Dumped—by Guinness

And de Blasio, adding to ruckus over ban on gay groups

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 17, 2014 7:03 AM CDT | Updated Mar 17, 2014 7:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – First Sam Adams and Heineken quit sponsoring St. Patrick's Day parades in Boston and New York City; now Guinness is joining in protest of a ban on gay activist groups marching in the celebrations, Reuters reports. "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," the company says. "As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation." Fox News notes that Ford Motor Company is now the only big US sponsor of today's parade.

It's not just sponsors who are dropping out: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio won't march this year. Nor did Boston mayor Marty Walsh participate in Boston's event yesterday. His exit came after talks to include a top gay activist group fell through. Ireland's prime minister, however, will join New York's celebrations; he says the parade is "about our Irishness and not about sexuality." The city's parade planners say gay groups aren't banned outright—but they're not allowed to identify themselves as LGBT, the AP notes.

Patrons enjoy pints of Guinness Stout as New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Patrons enjoy pints of Guinness Stout as New Yorkers celebrate St. Patrick's Day.   (John Minchillo/AP Images for Diageo)
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