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Guinness drops sponsorship of St. Patrick's Day Parade

(Credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) (Credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Guinness announced on Sunday that it is pulling its sponsorship of today's St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York over a policy that bans marchers from carrying signs that identify them as gay.

"Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,"the company said in a statement.

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 As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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

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The makers of the popular Irish beer made their announcement one day after Heineken said it was dropping its sponsorship of the celebration.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and several city officials are also boycotting the Fifth Avenue parade today because of the ban. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito commended Guinness and Heineken for their decisions on Sunday.

"These businesses are sending a clear message that New York's St. Patrick's Day Parade needs to be inclusive to all New Yorkers," she said in a statement.

According to LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, Ford Motors remains the last major American corporation to continue its support of the parade.

 
 
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