Last evening Guinness announced it would join Heinekin and Samuel Adams in pulling its sponsorship from today's St. Patrick's Day parade in support of New York's LGBT community. Iconic gay rights bar Stonewall Inn had previously indicated it would not serve the stout in light of the company's continued participation in the parade; the bar has since restocked the beer in anticipation of crowds for today's celebration.
The move has drawn support from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who had joined fellow council members and Mayor de Blasio in boycotting today's parade, which would not allow gay marchers to identify as such. "I want to commend Guinness, Sam Adams and Heineken for taking a stand on behalf of the LGBT community who should be able to march openly and proudly in the St. Patrick's Day Parade," she said in a statement. "These businesses are sending a clear message that New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade needs to be inclusive to all New Yorkers."
GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis also championed the brand, saying the beer company had "sent a strong message to its customers and employees: discrimination should never be celebrated." Others expressed support for the move, including John McGuire of Clifton, NJ. "That's cool," he told us this morning at 7th Avenue's The Irish Pub. "Everyone should be allowed to join the party."
Not everyone appreciated the spirit of inclusion, however. Irishman Ray Brophy criticized the beer company's actions, telling the Post, "Guinness should have just ignored them," referring to GLAAD's and other pro-gay outlet's calls for boycott. "St. Patrick's Day isn't about gay or straight. It's about celebrating St. Patrick." Another Gothamist reader took it to the next level via email, promising she would "use none of the products of the companies that withdrew their support of the NYC and Boston parades."