Guinness has pulled its sponsorship of New York’s famous St Patrick’s Day parade after LGBT groups were prevented from taking part.
The brand pulled out of the event after an escalating row about the exclusion of LGBT activists which saw Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer Company pull out of a parade in Boston and Heineken drop its sponsorship of the New York parade last week.
A statement from Guinness’s parent company, Diageo, said: “Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusions 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“As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.”
US politicians also joined in on the boycott of St Patrick’s parades banning LGBT groups. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that he would not take part in the event, while Boston Mayor Marty Walsh did not attend his local parade.
St Patrick’s Day parade organisers say that the inclusion of LGBT groups in the marches would be at odds with their Roman Catholic beliefs. St Patrick’s Day events are prolific in many US cities which became home to large numbers of Irish diaspora.