Irish beer giant Guinness pulled its sponsorship of the Saint Patrick’s Day parades in New York City over the event’s policy of anti-LGBT discrimination. Guinness said it was “due to organizers’ longstanding rule against gay and lesbian groups marching openly,” said Fox News (3.17.14). David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm, commends Guinness for taking this stand.
“Kudos to Guinness beer for standing with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” said Perecman. “To discriminate against people who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation is completely unacceptable.”
Technically, the parade allows gay groups to march but it bans signs allowing the groups to identify as LGBT. The sponsorship withdrawal came after gay rights activists protested the ban, said Fox News.
Heineken and Boston Beer (maker of Samuel Adams) had also announced that they would be skipping the St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York and Boston this year, as well. According to Fox News, Guinness released a statement saying they support diversity and equality for all people and for that reason they will not participate in the parade.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also skipped the parades. Fox News reported that it was because marchers were not being allowed to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT. Police Commissioner William Bratton marched with a contingent of uniformed officers despite the protests of gay activists who thought that the NYPD should not have officers participate while wearing their uniforms.
“It is likely generational shifts and the purchasing power of the LGBT community are important to the companies. However, with this move Guinness is also showing company support for LGBT employees of the company, and that is the right thing to do,” said Perecman, a civil rights violation lawyer in New York for over 30 years.
The Fox News article cited is “Guinness pulls sponsorship of New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
Individuals who believe they have been victims of a New York civil rights violation, including race profiling or discrimination in the workplace can contact The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C.