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Bar boycotts Sam Adams over dropped parade sponsorship
BOSTON — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he’s still hoping that he and openly gay people will be able to march in South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade even as the controversy over Sunday’s march intensifies.
South End restaurant Club Café had announced it wouldn’t serve brews from Boston Beer Company – which manufactures Sam Adams – until the company said on Friday that it would pull sponsorship from the parade, which does not allow marchers to openly identify as gay.
Now a Southie bar is boycotting Sam Adams because they’re unhappy with the company’s decision to drop its parade sponsorship.
“They’re fired, as far as I’m concerned,” said Tommy Flaherty, Jr., the co-owner of the Cornerstone Pub. “If they’re not going to support the veterans, and they’re not going to support South Boston, well, they can sell their beer elsewhere.”
Flaherty said he thought it was disingenuous of the Boston Beer Company to pull its sponsorship so late.
“If some silly issue is going to get them to pull support from our neighborhood, I don’t see us doing business with them again,” he said.
The Boston Beer Company said in a statement that it is disappointed that an agreement could not be reached between the gay rights advocacy group MassEquality and parade organizers that would have allowed a group of gay veterans to march.
Walsh, who said he will march if an agreement is reached, told NewsCenter5 on Saturday that the Boston Beer Company’s stand was “courageous.”
“I commend Sam Adams,” Walsh said. “It’s a courageous stand, because they have a lot of business.”
A 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council could include or exclude whichever groups it wanted. The parade, one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation, draws as many as 1 million spectators to South Boston.
MassEquality said in a statement Saturday that the group hopes to march while flying a rainbow flag and a banner identifying marchers as LGBT.
“We appreciate that the Mayor is committed to marching only if the LGBT community can march openly, and that he is still fighting for that,” the group said. “We hope that is the case tomorrow.”
Walsh said that even if an agreement cannot be reached between parade organizers and LGBT groups, he believes progress has been made.
“I think this year there has been a lot of steps toward that, toward the full inclusion,” he said. “It’s a question of fairness and I can’t understand why in 2014 we’re still having this discussion, this debate.”
Gays exclusion led to Boston Beer Company decision
BOSTON — After its support of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade led one Boston restaurant to boycott its brew, the Boston Beer Company – which manufactures Sam Adams – has pulled its sponsorship from Sunday’s parade.
Club Café, in the South End, had announced it would not serve the company’s beer because of the ongoing controversy over the exclusion of openly gay individuals from marching in the parade.
“This is about equal rights. Everyone is equal in this country,” said Club Café owner Frank Ribaudo, who said the restaurant got thousands of hits and messages of support on its Facebook page after the boycott was announced.
After the sponsorship was pulled, the restaurant said it will continue to sell Sam Adams.
“As a result of this (decision) we are again proud to serve Sam Adams and Boston Beer Company Products,” Club Café said in a statement on its Facebook page.
Boston Beer Company said that it is disappointed that an agreement could not be reached between the gay rights advocacy group MassEquality and parade organizers that would have allowed a group of gay veterans to march, despite pressure from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Rep. Stephen Lynch.
“We share these sentiments with Mayor Walsh, Congressman Lynch and others and therefore we will not participate in this year’s parade,” the Boston Beer Company said in a statement.
“We were hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this parade. However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible,” the statement read.
“The fact that they reacted as quickly as they did without a lot of additional pressure says a lot about them as a company I think that they realized that this was an issue they need to be sensitive to and I applaud them, I really do,” Ribaudo said.
A 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council could include or exclude whichever groups it wanted.
The parade organizers’ phone was not answered. The parade, one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation, draws as many as 1 million spectators to South Boston
Marathon hero, wife to march in Boston parade
BOSTON —The “man in the cowboy hat” captured in a famous photo of the Boston Marathon bombings pushing a victim away from the scene in a wheelchair has been named Grand Marshal of the city’s alternate St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Carlos Arredondo and his wife, Melida, were named co-Grand Marshals of the St. Patrick’s Peace Parade scheduled for March 16.
The Peace Parade marches one mile behind and along the same route, but it is not affiliated with, the traditional parade.
It is organized by Veterans for Peace.
Arredondo, whose Marine son Alex Arredondo was killed in Iraq in 2004, is a longtime member.
Arredondo, wearing a beat up cowboy hat, was captured in an Associated Press photo helping push a wheelchair carrying the severely injured Jeff Bauman from the blast scene.
Immaculate Heart of Mary School pulls out of St. Patrick’s Day parade
HARVARD, Mass. — A Catholic school in Harvard will not march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston after learning that a gay military veterans group will be allowed to participate in the parade.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary School’s band and students have marched in the annual South Boston parade for nearly 25 years along a float depicting the culture and faith of Irish people around the central figure of Saint Patrick.
“The familiar scene of Saint Patrick joyfully giving his blessing to the crowds has, sad to say, come to an end. In the footsteps of Saint Patrick, IHM does not condone and will not appear to condone the homosexual lifestyle,” Principal Thomas Dalton said.
Organizers of the parade have decided to ease its two-decade ban on gay organizations, a MassEquality official said Saturday.
A group of gay military veterans will be allowed march under its banner in a tentative deal brokered by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. Marchers from the gay rights group would not be allowed to wear clothing or hold signs that refer to sexual orientation.
Walsh had threatened to boycott the city annual parade unless gay groups are allowed to march. He met parade organizers Saturday and hopes that a solution that works for all involved.
“We must stand firm with the Church which states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II, that ‘homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity’ and ‘are intrinsically disordered…Under no circumstances can they be approved,'” Dalton said.
The parade draws an estimated 1 million spectators to South Boston every year.
No references to sexual orientation allowed
BOSTON — Leaders of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade have invited a gay advocacy group to march for the first time in decades – as long as group members don’t display their orientation.
The Boston Globe reports that parade coordinators have invited LGBT advocacy organization MassEquality to march in the parade and carry a banner, but no T-shirts or signs with the word “gay” or other references to sexual orientation are allowed.
Negotiators will work out final details in the coming week.
“We’d be happy to have them here,” Tim Duross, a parade coordinator, told The Globe. “But we’d rather you just wish everybody a happy St. Patrick’s Day and left it with that.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh brokered the agreement, and told The Globe that it was “probably the biggest step in 20 years” for the parade.
“Mayor Walsh and Congressman Stephen Lynch met today with parade organizers,” Walsh’s spokeswoman said in a statement. “It was a very positive meeting, and they remain optimistic that a solution can be reached that will work for all parties involved.”
The executive director of MassEquality told The Globe that the new development was “huge” and she was hopeful that her group could march, but declined to comment on the T-shirt and sign restrictions.
In 1995, parade organizers went to the US Supreme Court for their right to exclude gay and lesbian groups from the parade and won.
The parade had been boycotted by Mayor Thomas Menino but Walsh has said that he wanted to work with organizers to end the ban.