Anheuser-Busch is considering pulling their famous Budweiser Clydesdales from the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers excluded a gay veterans group.
The group, OutVets, honors past and current LGBTQ members of the military. Boston parade organizers told the group they weren’t allowed to march in the South Boston parade on March 19. Anheuser-Busch, America’s beer and friend of immigrants, is standing with OutVets.
“We are disappointed to learn that the OutVets, who have proudly served this country, have been denied entry,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement acquired by CNN Money. “We are re-evaluating our participation in this event.”
OutVets has marched in the parade for the past two years. Before that, parade organizers prohibited the display of sexual orientation, and LGBTQ groups couldn’t openly march. OutVets told CNN Money that the organizers, the Allied War Veterans Council of South Boston, didn’t explain why OutVets wasn’t included, but OutVets did say that “given the tenor of the council’s deliberations, one can assume it’s because we are LGBTQ.”
Anheuser-Busch isn’t alone. Sam Adams dropped a parade sponsorship in 2014 because of the exclusion of LGBTQ groups, and Guinness and Heineken did the same for a New York City parade. This year, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he would not march in the parade until OutVets was invited, and Stop & Shop pulled it’s sponsorship.
In response, the Allied War Veterans Council will hold an emergency meeting for a second vote on whether or not to include OutVets in the parade. Whatever the decision, Anheuser-Busch showed that it stands with all of America.