Heineken has pulled its sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, which prohibits LGBT families and organizations from marching. A company official at Heineken has confirmed to GLAAD that the company will no longer be a sponsor of Monday's parade, saying "we are passionate about equality for all people."
However, according to a tweet from CNBC, Ford Motor Company has announced that it will continue to sponsor the parade, despite the ban on LGBT families marching openly.
"A company's values should be reflected in the events it sponsors," said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's President and CEO. "By ending support of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, Heineken sent the right message to LGBT youth, customers and employees, who simply want to be part of the celebration. Other sponsors who support LGBT families should be quick to follow."
In a statement, Ford stood by the discriminatory parade:
Ford Motor Company is involved in a wide range of events and organizations in communities across the country and around the world, including long-standing participation in this parade. No one person, group or event reflects Ford's views on every issue. What we can tell you is that Ford is proud of its inclusive policies. Every member of the Ford team is valued, and we provide employee benefits regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.
The decisions by both Heineken and Ford come after the Boston Beer Company, the parent company to Sam Adams Beer, dropped its sponsorship of the Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, due to that event's exclusion of LGBT people.
Guinness is now the only beer sponsor listed on the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade site. The company did not respond to outreach from GLAAD.
Mayor Bill de Blasio previously announced that he would not be marching in the NYC parade this year, citing the exclusion of LGBT people and groups.
Additionally, several companies including Delta Airlines, Yelp, PetSmart, the NFL, Apple, Marriott, American Airlines called on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB1062, Arizona's "license to discriminate" bill.
GLAAD is continuing to contact sponsors of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade.