Colin Kerr

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Catholic League’s Bill Donohue calls for boycott of Guinness over St. Patrick’s Parade flap

Colin Kerr

NEW YORK, March 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The largest American Catholic civil rights organization is taking on the largest brewer of stout beer in the world.

The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue has called for a boycott of Guinness after the beer company pulled its sponsorship of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers barred homosexual activists from marching.

Guinness is owned by British liquor giant Diageo.

“The corporate officers at Guinness who think they can get away with this in-your-face gesture are sadly mistaken,” Donohue said. “There is a price to be paid for anti-Catholic bigotry, and that is exactly what is driving Guinness to act.”

“No gay person has ever been barred from marching in any St. Patrick’s Day parade, any more than the parade bans pro-life Catholics or vegetarian Catholics; they simply cannot march under their own banner,” he explained.

“The parade is quintessentially Catholic. … It is this Catholic element that angers those who are engaged in a bullying campaign against the St. Patrick’s Day parades. The bullies also have nothing but contempt for the constitutional rights of Irish Catholics. … It is this liberty that the makers of Guinness, Heineken, and Sam Adams want to squash.”

Yesterday he added, “This Guinness insult has more to do with anti-Catholicism than with anti-Irish sentiment. Gay activists, and their tony heterosexual buddies… seek to punish Catholics for holding to traditional moral beliefs.”

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“It's the religious element to these parades… that is motivating Guinness to act like a corporate bully.”

After announcing its intention to organize a boycott on Monday, the Catholic League has developed its strategy. Donohue had first called for a boycott of Sam Adams and Heineken as well, after their owners had also pulled out of St. Patrick’s Day parades. But Donohue says his group has chosen to focus on targeting Guinness.

“Prudence dictates that we concentrate our efforts on just one: we've settled on Guinness,” wrote Donohue, stating that to be effective, efforts must be concentrated. “Guinness is the biggest and most prominent of the three brewers” that boycotted the parade.

He said the League will be contacting Catholic and Irish groups, inviting them to join in the boycott.

Donohue says getting the truth out is crucial. “Once fair-minded persons know that this entire controversy is contrived—no gays and lesbians have ever been banned from marching in any St. Patrick's Day parade—they will no longer buy Guinness.”

The League believes that there is a good chance the boycott will be effective. “The demographics are working against them. … It's older Americans, heavily Irish Catholic, who buy Guinness, and they are also the most likely to draw a line in the sand when angered.”

In fact, today Donohue seems more than satisfied with the outpouring of support he has already seen.

In a statement released today, he remarked, “The response to our boycott is overwhelming … We have seen an outpouring of angry Catholics who are fully supportive of our efforts. If the Guinness corporate bullies think that this is a flash in the pan, then they don't understand the Catholic League. But they will—we are not going away.”

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