The Boston Beer Company, which owns Sam Adams beer, has issued a statement on its sponsorship of the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade. Boston Beer, like other sponsors have been pressured to speak out about the exclusion of LGBT organizations, like the LGBT Veterans for Equality.
Boston Beer said that they were reviewing their sponsorships, which has included LGBT organizations, and hinted that the St. Patrick's Day Parade may not be one of its sponsors next year.
In a statement tweeted by CNBC's Ryan Ruggiero, Boston Beer said:
As a local business, supporting our Boston community is very important to us. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is just one of the hundreds of events and organizations we support in and around Boston. We provide charitable donations to organizations in South Boston and around the city that address critical needs including supporting the arts, the environment, building communities, veterans initiatives, youth leadership development and addressing educational disparities, just to name a few. We also provide support for a number of organizations whose primary focus is supporting civil rights, the LGBT community, marriage equality, and the Boston Pride Parade.
We have deep roots in Boston and will continue to support local charities here and across the commonwealth, especially those charities that our employees and drinkers find meaningful and impactful. That being said, our namesake, Samuel Adams, was a staunch defender of free speech and we support that ideal, so we take feedback very seriously. The majority of our commitments are year-to-year, and we will continue to evaluate each organization and event before making additional contributions.
Other corporate sponsors included Westin and Gillette, although all corporate sponsors have been scrubbed from the web site, as of this writing. Many have been critical of the sponsors who are supporting the exclusion in the parade.
MassEquailty has been working with LGBT Veterans for Equality, and a few weeks ago there was a possibility the organization might be able to march in the parade. However, the invitation was quickly rescinded, once again leaving LGBT organizations in the dust.
This statement from Boston Beer, matches other corporations that have spoken out agains the Boy Scout's ban on gay Scout leaders, as well as corporate opposition to "license to discriminate" bills that the one that was vetoed in Arizona. Corporations have found that discrimination is bad for business, and they are speaking up about it more frequently.