CNN reports that Guinness has withdrawn its support from today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC because lesbian and gay groups aren’t allowed to march openly.
Parades in both NYC and Boston have policies under which sexual orientation is not allowed to be displayed, which means that marchers are not able to hold signs or wear shirts identifying themselves as LGBT.
Over the weekend, West Village bar Stonewall Inn threatened to stop selling Guinness beer if the company continued to sponsor the parade. What’s more, the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD had planned an anti-Guinness event to go down today.
In a statement to CNN, Guinness stated,
“We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.”
Guinness wasn’t the only beer giant to withdraw its support. Just a few days back, Heineken pulled out of the NYC parade, and Sam Adams said it would no longer be participating in the Boston parade for the same reason.
Speaker of the NYC Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, said in a statement,
“I want to commend Guinness, Sam Adams and Heineken for taking a stand on behalf of the LGBT community who should be able to march openly and proudly in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
Hats off to big beer companies—who possess the power to influence change—for standing up for individuals’ rights.
People have taken to Twitter to show their support.
GUINNESS IS GOOD FOR YOU … and I admire them for pulling out of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade over the gay ban. http://t.co/OnxTOvrdY0
— Buck Wolf (@wolfb) March 17, 2014
Guinness withdraws from St Patrick’s Day parade over exclusion of gay rights group http://t.co/XEQMFbYW1k Well done to them & others.
— Tauriq Moosa (@tauriqmoosa) March 17, 2014
— Tanya Edwards (@MissTanya) March 17, 2014