Pints of Guinness.
Peter MacDiarmid—Reuters
March 17, 2014 5:58 AM EDT

First mayors, then sponsors, now that quintessential Irish brewer Guinness is squaring off with St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers over gay rights.

The Guardian reports that Guinness, a prominent sponsor of New York’s parade, withdrew its support after organizers refused to allow gay and lesbian groups to openly participate. “Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” read an official statement from the brewer’s parent company, Diageo. “We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade.”

The move comes after Boston and New York’s mayors and two other major brewers decided to skip St. Patrick’s Day parades in solidarity with LGBT groups.


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