Guinness is back in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade as a sponsor, the company has announced.
Guinness withdrew its support last year because of the parade committee's refusal to allow an LGBT group to march. The brand’s withdrawal, announced shortly before the 2014 parade once it was clear no agreement would be reached, was widely praised in the LGBT community.
This year, the company believes that issue has been addressed with the participation of the OUT@NBCUniversal group in the parade.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon Guinness said:
“We are delighted to announce that Guinness has made the decision to resume its sponsorship of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade. While there is still work to be done, we are pleased that the parade organizers have taken steps to allow the LGBT community to be represented. The parade is an important way for Guinness to support the Irish community, and we look forward to celebrating with millions of New Yorkers on March 17th.”
Guinness was the target of a boycott by William Donohue’s Catholic League after last year’s parade.
The changed circumstances this year allowing an LGBT group to march has resulted in the Guinness decision, say insiders.
While negotiations are still ongoing to allow the Lavender and Green Alliance Irish group to also march, the concession of allowing OUT@NBCUniversal group in has made the difference.
There is still no decision from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as to his participation, though talks have been continuing between City Hall, Lavender And Green and the parade committee.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the 2015 Grand Marshal of the Parade which kicks off on Tuesday morning March 17 on Fifth Avenue.