Guinness has announced this morning that it will be pulling its sponsorship of the 253rd St. Paddy’s Day Parade in New York City, due to the rule set by the Ancient Order of Hibernians that does not allow LGBT groups or organizations to march in the parade.
“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” Guinness said in a statement. “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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.”
Guinness is not alone in protesting this exclusionary policy. Heineken and Sam Adams beer companies also announced earlier last week that they are withdrawing from the parade. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that he will not be marching in the parade, the first mayor in decades to do so, in protest of the outdated rule. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also did not march in his city’s parade on Sunday in protest.
The Ancient Order of the Hibernians has announced that the LGBT community are welcome to march, but cannot distinguish themselves in any way.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi