Guinness Drops Sponsorship of NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Following plans of a boycott by several of NYC's prominent gay bars, Guinness has announced it is dropping sponsorship of the city's anti-gay St. Patrick's Day Parade.

GuinnessThe company released the following 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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.

In light of the news, the Stonewall Inn has called its boycott off.

Said GLAAD's CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis: "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."

Ford Motor Company remains the last American corporate sponsor of the parade.

Several universities – Fairfield, Manhattan College, Quinnipiac, Iona College, and Fordham – are also still sponsors of the parade, as well as a couple of smaller companies – Empire City Casino and CIE Tours International.

Comments

  1. JackFknTwist says

    This is indeed good news .
    The more individuals and sponsors point up the discriminatory practices of the parade organizers the more likely we will get reform.

    By the way the very word ‘boycott’ comes from Lord Boycott, a landlord of the nineteenth century who evicted Irish tenant farmers from their small holdings for non payment of rent.

  2. Joe in Ct says

    This is a big surprise. I’m not sure how much fear we’ve instilled by the threatened boycott, but I am convinced that the message is getting through to companies that aligning their brands with anti-gay discriminatory bigots is not good for business.

  3. CJ says

    What does it mean to say that Guinness has withdrawn sponsorship? It means their name won’t appear in parade publicity, but does it mean that the parade won’t get any money from them?

  4. Mags says

    A bit of social pressure, add to it bad publicity, and a dash of economic uncertainty: what banding together for one common goal for equality can accomplish. Hopefully this would become the standard when dealing with discrimination of a group or another of American citizens.

  5. says

    Excellent outcome. Pressure works, money talks, those who seek to exclude can no longer take it for granted that their exclusion is acceptable.

    Bravo to Guinness and the others who are taking a stand.

  6. woody says

    the st. patrick’s day for all parade in sunnyside/woodside queens is great. and there are loads of pubs on the route. and lots of young irish live there. it’s so much better than the city parade. thank you, brendan faye!

  7. Francis says

    Most likely, some will boycott Guinness because of this, and most wont care, as they’ll be too busy wanting to get drunk or being drunk.

    Guinness may have had to be pushed a bit into doing the right thing but it goes to show—companies don’t want to cross our community. In this day and age where minority rights in general are so much apart of the public conscious and social debates across the country, companies are going to be hyper-vigil about not coming off insensitive or socially backwards, because they know it won’t have a good impact on their brand.

    We have power now. Way more than the fringe right wingers do when it comes to businesses. We have clout. We have billions of dollars as a community+allies to spend. A one day event sponsoring St. Paddy’s Day isn’t worth the loss of revenue from an entire community and allies.

  8. MaryM says

    The NYPD remain homophobic pigscum for participating in this parade.

    LGBT cannot trust the police.

    Good for Guinness.

    Does its owner Diageo also pledge to offer a safe and non-discriminatory workplace for its Jamaican employees at Red Stripe beer.

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