Rupert Murdoch says gay rights groups have “bullied” Guinness into pulling out of New York City’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, with the News Corp chairman calling for a boycott of the Irish brewer as a result.
Murdoch, 83, tweeted today “where will it end” and that he hopes the “Irish boycott the stuff”.
Where will this end? Guinness pulls out of religious parade bullied by gay orgs who try to take it over. Hope all Irish boycott the stuff
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) March 17, 2014
Guinness, owned by British alcoholic drinks group Diageo, followed the lead of Boston Beer, the brewer behind Sam Adams, which dropped its sponsorship of the Boston parade, as well as Heineken, which withdrew from the New York celebration.
“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,” Diageo said in a statement.
“As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation.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.”
Diageo shares dipped 1.4% to 1,795p on the news.
Organisers in New York and Boston have repeatedly banned LGBT groups from marching in the parades, despite being two of America’s most liberal cities, leading to public snubs by their elected mayors.
Boston’s parade took place yesterday, without the presence of Mayor Martin Walsh.
“I’m disappointed that this year, I will be unable to participate in the parade,” he said early on Sunday.
“As Mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city,” he added.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, however, is expected to march in the New York parade despite mounting pressure on him to follow Mayor De Blasio’s lead.
Mr Kenny attended yesterday’s parade in Boston.