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Heineken pulls sponsorship from NYC St. Patrick’s over ban on gay pride signs

Saturday, March 15, 2014
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Heineken announced Friday it has pulled its sponsorship of Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City because event organizers refuse to let gay participants carry signs displaying LGBT pride.

heineken“We believe in equality for all,” a Heineken USA spokeswoman said.

The move follows an announcement by Boston Beer Co., makers of Samuel Adams Beer, that is withdrawing its sponsorship of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers exclude gay groups.

In New York, the decision leaves Guinness as the parade’s only beer sponsor.

Mayors in both cities — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh — have both said they will not march or participate in the events due to the bans.

Since the 1990s, the New York event’s ban on pro-gay signs and banners has spurred protests and litigation and led to the creation of an alternative, gay-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade in Queens.

De Blasio participated in the Queens parade on March 2, but will become the first mayor in decades to sit out the traditional march along Fifth Avenue.

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