A down to the wire, last minute change of heart has led to the announcement by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh that parade organizers have changed their policy of not allowing LGBT groups to march openly in the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Originally, according to several news sources on Thursday, Boston Beer, the makers of Sam Adams brand had pulled their support from the Boston Saint Patrick's Day Parade because the parade organizers refuse to allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups march openly.
The popular beer company issued a statement on March 14 through Mass Equality, an organization pushing to have gay veteran's groups in the parade. A portion of the statement says that Boston Beer has continued to remain 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.”
Mass Equality confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter:
BREAKING NEWS: @SamAdamsBeer withdraws support of anti-LGBT St. Patrick's Day Parade: http://bit.ly/1kQQo6W
9:05 AM - 14 Mar 2014"
The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, organizers of the parade, issued a statement on their website, saying they were not opposed to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, it just doesn't allow sexual orientation to be displayed. They explained that LGBT groups were welcome to march in the parade, but they couldn't identify themselves with signs or T-shirts. "We invite all to join us to celebrate this historic event, but we must maintain our guidelines to insure the enjoyment and public safety of our spectators," they stated.
New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio has decided to boycott the parade, and Boston's Mayor Martin Walsh is still trying to convince parade organizers to change their minds about the policy before he makes his final decision.
Boston Beer's announcement came a day after a Boston bar said it would not serve the Sam Adams brand because of its maker’s affiliation with the parade, joining with the mayor and other public officials in boycotting the parade.