What’s a St. Patrick’s Day parade without Guinness? The organizers of New York City’s annual march down 5th Avenue are about to find out.
The makers of the popular Irish beer announced over the weekend that they had pulled their sponsorship of the parade due to organizers’ longstanding rule against gay and lesbian groups marching openly.
“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” the company said in a statement posted on the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation website Sunday. “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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.”