Catholic League Calls For Boycott of Guinness
In a move similar in effectiveness to yelling at the wind or attempting to stop the Earth's rotation, Catholic League president Bill Donohue is trying to get the Irish to stop drinking Guinness. Donohue's boycott comes in response to the makers of the popular Irish stout's decision to cease sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade over the parade's organizers' long standing policy of excluding openly LGBT marchers.
The boycott petition on the Catholic League's website reads:
Gays have never been barred from marching in any St. Patrick's Day parade -- they simply cannot march under their own banner. Neither can pro-life Catholics. The message of the St. Patrick's Day parade is simple: it is to honor St. Patrick. It is not about any other cause. That's why we have parades that celebrate other causes: it's called respect for diversity.
In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to sustain the right of private parade organizers to determine their own rules for participation. If this ruling were otherwise, then groups that seek to veto the message of any parade would be allowed to march, thus undercutting the purpose of the parade. This would effectively kill freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Guinness is showing its disrespect for diversity, its support for intolerance, and its contempt for the First Amendment rights of everyone associated with the St. Patrick's Day parade. Make no mistake about it, Guinness chose to boycott this parade because of its quintessentially Catholic nature: radicals who hate the moral teachings of the Catholic Church fingered this parade because of its religious significance.
If Guinness reinstates its sponsorship of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, this campaign will end. Until it does, I support the Catholic League's boycott of Guinness.
According to Media Matters, the arch-conservative Donohue has a long history of making inflammatory anti-gay comments, which includes describing the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal as a "homosexual crisis"; criticizing the publishing world for their refusal to "tell the truth about the gay death style"; claiming that "[t]he gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done."