On the eve of the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, brewer Guinness announced that it is pulling its sponsorship of the event because of organizers’ “policy of exclusion” that prevents gay people from openly participating, LGBT advocacy group GLAAD reports.
The company’s statement adds, “We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.”
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corps, took to Twitter to criticize the move and slam gay rights groups, saying the latter “bullied” the brewer into withdrawing from the event.
“Where will this end? Guinness pulls out of religious parade bullied by gay orgs who try to take it over. Hope all Irish boycott the stuff,” Murdoch wrote.
Heineken also issued a statement March 14, indicating it would not participate in New York’s parade, saying it supports “equality for all” and was withdrawing its sponsorship of the event.
Ford Motor Company said it would continue its support of the New York parade, noting that no event or group “reflects” the company’s views on every issue.
The Boston Beer Company, brewers of Sam Adams beer, had also announced it was pulling out of Boston’s St Patrick’s Day parade because of organizers’ refusal to allow gay veterans to participate in the March 16 event.
The Guardian quotes a Boston parade organizer as saying, “Our theme is St Patrick’s Day and Evacuation Day. It isn’t a sexually oriented parade. They have parades for that.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin J Walsh are skipping their respective cities’ events because of the policies.