Last night, after coming under heavy pressure from GLAAD, the Stonewall Inn, and other New York City gay bars, Guinness dropped its sponsorship of the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade over its exclusion of LGBT groups.
The company released a statement to GLAAD:
Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. 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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.
GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis reacted:
"Today, Guinness sent a strong message to its customers and employees: discrimination should never be celebrated. As a gay mom who has fond memories of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, it saddens me that I can't give those same memories to my own kids because my family isn't welcome. Hopefully, as parade organizers realize that anti-LGBT discrimination is not supported by sponsors, or many Irish New Yorkers, they'll see that families like mine should be part of the celebration."
The Stonewall Inn has cancelled its plans to stop selling Guinness.
Ford Motor Company is now the parade's only major American corporate sponsor.