Guinness Pulls Out Of St Patrick's Day Parade In New York To Support Gay Rights, And We'll Drink To That

We'll all be downing our fair share of Guinness this St. Paddy's Day, but there's one place revelers won't be seeing the popular Irish beer: the NYC festivities. Guinness pulled its sponsorship from New York City's famous St. Patrick's Day parade, citing the parade's exclusion of gay and lesbian groups. The company made the announcement Sunday, following in the footsteps of Heineken.

In a statement, Guinness said:

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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.

Earlier, the Stonewall Inn, a legendary NYC bar famous for being at the center of gay-rights protests in 1969, said it would participate in a "mass dumping" of Guinness to protest the company's involvement in the parade. Obviously, that "mass dumping" line made Guinness sit up and pay attention: The brewery's decision also comes after Boston's Irish-American mayor Marty Walsh decided to skip out on his city's parade for the same reasons.

Brewmaker Sam Adams had also pulled their support from the Boston festival after organizers’ refused to allow an affiliate of a gay-rights group to join.

In February, New York mayor Bill de Blasio said he'd boycott the NYC parade over its policy of banning marchers who carry gay-pride signs. This'll be the first time in 20 years the city's mayor willingly misses out on the event. So, no Guinness and no mayor at the St. Patrick's Day parade? Maybe this'll be the year we'll see a (long, long overdue) change in parade policy...