The company behind the popular Sam Adams beer made headlines this week after they pulled support from the Boston St. Patrick's Day parade in the wake of the event's stance on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants. But the move has the owners of a local bar so angered, they've responded in turn by cutting off Sam Adams from their patrons.
The Boston Herald reports that Cornerstone Pub co-owners John and Thomas Flaherty, Sr. were so "taken aback" by Boston Beer's decision to back out of the local parade, they've opted not to sell Sam Adams indefinitely.
"Sam Adams doesn’t support South Boston," Flaherty's son, Tommy Flaherty Jr., told the Herald. "They don’t want to support veterans like my father and uncle, so they can go sell their beer elsewhere."
The Flahertys were quick to specify that they "don't have a problem with gay people." In fact, Thomas Flaherty Sr. told My Fox Boston that gay parade participants "could just jump in line with the rest of us," but that, as a Vietnam veteran, he feels that Boston Beer's decision is a blow to veterans who value the company's monetary support.
In an interview with local news network WCVB, his son echoed those sentiments.
"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," Flaherty Jr. told WCVB.
On March 14, local advocacy organization MassEquality, which has been pushing for the inclusion of LGBT veteran groups in Boston's parade, confirmed that Boston Beer had withdrawn from the festivities. Boston Beer issued a statement on MassEquality's website, saying they remained 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.”
At present, gay groups are allowed to march in Boston's parade, but members are not permitted to carry signs or slogans identifying themselves as LGBT, according to reports.
On March 15, Heineken followed in Boston Beer's footsteps by yanking its support of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade over that event's stance on the LGBT participants, Reuters reported.
"We believe in equality for all," a Heineken representative is quoted as saying "We are no longer a sponsor of Monday's parade."