Tim Hortons is distancing itself from an upcoming Rhode Island event designed to “take a stand” against same-sex marriage.

Brochures for this Sunday’s “Celebrate Marriage and Family Day” in Warwick, R.I., list the popular coffee-and-doughnut chain as one of its sponsors.

But a statement posted yesterday on Tim Hortons’ website says the celebration — which includes
an opportunity for married couples to renew their vows — falls outside its sponsorship guidelines, and the company would not be lending its support.

In the statement, Tim Hortons welcomes “all families and communities” to its restaurants and apologizes for any “misunderstanding or inconvenience” caused by the deal.

The weekend celebration is being put on by the National Organization for Marriage, which lobbies against same-sex marriage in the U.S.

Chris Plante, executive director of the NOM’s Rhode Island chapter, says Tim Hortons had agreed to provide coffee for about 250 people.

He says he’s surprised by the amount of online criticism the sponsorship generated.

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