We reported yesterday that after a strong social campaign calling for companies and officials to withdraw support from Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Sam Adam’s officially pulled the plug on their sponsorship.
Organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parades in both Boston and New York will not allow gay groups — the LGBT Veterans for Equality in particular — to be included, and Sam Adam’s is not having any of it. After attempting negotiations, a company spokesperson said their support was “not possible” yesterday.
According to parade organizers, forcing parade participants to not identify as LGBT is a matter of “public safety of our spectators.”
Shortly after Sam Adams’ decision went public, a Heineken USA rep officially announced that the company would also pull sponsorship of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade as well. “We believe in equality for all,” a spokeswoman said.
On the contrary, American car manufacturer Ford will gladly tolerate homophobia at the events it sponsors, according to a statement issued to CNBC:
Ford Motor Company is involved in a wide range of events and organizations in communities across the country and around the world, including long-standing participation in this parade. No one person, group or event reflects Ford’s views on every issue. What we can tell you is that Ford is proud of its inclusive policies. Every member of the Ford team is valued, and we provide employee benefits regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.
Riiiight. Every member of the Ford team is valued, so long as they keep that gay shit out of parades our families are trying to enjoy.
Get that money, Ford! You’ll obviously need it, since America realized Chevrolet and Chrysler were the only American-made cars worth buying a long time ago.
I think perhaps you both are missing the point, or missing some information, regarding the Boston parade. The parade, a private one, is organized and run by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which is in turn run by a bunch of old white conservative guys. The gay group that wanted to march was the LGBT Veterans for Equality, an affiliate of Mass Equality (the folks who helped bring us same-sex marriage). Another group that has also been refused entry into the parade is Veterans for Peace.
So the organizers, all veterans, sponsoring a parade for Irish veterans, is actually rejecting more than just LGBT veterans, but those veterans who differ politically from them as well. It’s a bunch of reactionaries who are using the status as a private organization to push their own political agendas, one of which is gays suck (ok, pun intended) and another is that war is glorious.
It may be run by a private organization, but with taxpayer money being used for security and cleanup, and with millions predicted to attend, this is really a public event, and thus exclusion of ANY veteran’s organization should be anathema–and it is to some corporations, many politicians, and tens of thousands of the public.
I hope you can see that this is different situation from those other parades you mention, Kieran.
@bobmister250: I agree, bobmister. Misleading headlines (whether in substance or tone) are all too common on newsy websites. Writing catchy and engaging headlnes is not easy, but that’s no excuse.
Still, while Ford scores real high on HRC (and good for them), I wish they had bowed out; would have sent an even stronger signal. But given what you said, hard to come down on them.