A noted New York tavern linked to the beginning of the gay rights movement in the late 1960s has banned Anheuser-Busch products during the city’s Pride weekend celebration because of donations the corporation has made to lawmakers supportive of bills aimed at transgender youth.
“You can’t turn your logo rainbow on social media, call yourself an ally, and then turn around and make donations that fuel hate,” Stacy Lentz, co-owner of The Stonewall Inn, said in a statement, according to The Hill. “There are really no excuses, and companies like Anheuser-Busch need to own up to what they’ve done.”
“We just felt Stonewall having the platform, the power to do this, it was important to stand up,” Lentz continued, according to CBS News. “We really just want Anheuser-Busch to stop donating to lawmakers who are trying to legalize discrimination.”
“You can’t have it both ways. If you really want to support us, you need to not support those who make and vote laws against us,” Lentz added, according to New York Eater.
The tavern also posted info gathered by a campaign called Keep Your Pride — a project of Corporate Accountability Action — showing that the noted beermaker has given more than $35,300 to lawmakers claimed to be “anti-LGBTQ” since 2015.
“We’re horrified to see so-called allies supporting lawmakers who would make life harder for anyone in our community. We urge Anheuser-Busch and other companies doing this to publicly commit to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ politicians and use their lobbying power to support the Equality Act,” Kurt Kelly, another co-owner, added.
A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch said in a statement to The Hill that the company provides support to political candidates “that support the beer industry and the millions of jobs that it creates.” In addition, the official noted that the company is partners with several LGBTQ groups.
“Our company and our brands are focused on making a positive and lasting impact when it comes to issues of equality,” the spokesperson added.
The establishment has been considered the epicenter of the postmodern gay rights movement since June 1969 when patrons at the bar fought police who were attempting to raid the tavern in what became known as the Stonewall riots.
In a statement to CBS News, Anheuser-Busch elaborated on the company’s positions.
“We support candidates for public office whose policy positions and objectives support investments in our communities, job creation and industry growth,” the statement said. “Together, with our brands, we have a clear role to play in bringing real change and creating an inclusive and equitable world where we cherish and celebrate one another.
New York Eater featured a headline photo of patrons pouring bottles of Anheuser-Busch beer — Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Stella Artois — out on the street.
But the company has openly expressed support for the LGBTQ community.
“Excited to reveal we are now proud sponsors of Pride in London! We are working closely with them and our charity partners to celebrate the diversity within the LGBT+ community and Fly the Flag for everyone at the #PrideJubilee A taste of what’s to come,” Anheuser-Busch UK tweeted in May 2019.
In 2017 the city of Philadelphia added a black and brown stripe to the classic rainbow design, to better represent people of colour within the community. It has since been flown at Prides around the world. pic.twitter.com/EAWDUaUocs
— Budweiser UK (@BudweiserUK) May 31, 2019
“In 2017 the city of Philadelphia added a black and brown stripe to the classic rainbow design, to better represent people of colour within the community. It has since been flown at Prides around the world,” the same account noted further.
Budweiser, meanwhile, has been a supporter of LGBTQ rights for more than two decades.
“Bud Light has been a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community since the 80s and we are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with GLAAD by collaborating with them on this new commemorative bottle that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and everything GLAAD does to support it,” Andy Goeler, Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light, said in a May 2019 statement denoting the launch of rainbow-colored labeling on Bud Light bottles.
“The way we see it, our beer is for everyone to enjoy, so we are looking forward to seeing Pride bottles at bars throughout the month of June and beyond,” he added. “With the release of these new bottles, we hope to create something that everyone can feel proud to hold during Pride month that also makes a positive impact for GLAAD’s initiatives and the LGBTQ+ community overall.”
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