Budweiser, Bud Light and all other Anheuser-Busch products won’t be on the menu at The Stonewall Inn during Pride weekend in what the iconic LGBTQ bar’s owners characterize as a protest of the company’s donations to politicians supporting LGBTQ discrimination.
“We just felt Stonewall having the platform, the power to do this, it was important to stand up,” Stonewall Inn co-owner Stacy Lentz told The Guardian. “We really just want Anheuser-Busch to stop donating to lawmakers who are trying to legalize discrimination.”
In addition to pausing sales, the bar will also hold a ceremonial pouring down the drain of Bud Light and Stella Artois in support of the newly established “Keep Your Pride” campaign, an initiative from the recently created Corporate Accountability Action organization highlighting five large corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, publicly supporting the LGBTQ community while making hundreds of donations to anti-LGBTQ politicians.
According to the National Institute on Money in Politics, the beer-brewing giant made 48 donations totaling $35,350 to state and federal legislators in Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi that supported LGBTQ discrimination between 2015 and 2020. “Keep Your Pride” also highlights donations from AT&T, General Motors, NBCUniversal and Coca-Cola, with donations from all five totaling $324,250 between 2015 and 2021.
“It’s unacceptable for so-called ‘allied’ corporations to use Pride celebrations as marketing opportunities, claiming to support the LGBTQ community while they take direct action that hurts LGBTQ people across the country,” Marie Coyle, spokesperson for “Keep Your Pride,” told The Advocate.
“It’s never been more important for these companies to put their money where their mouth is,” Coyle added. “Either they can put an end to their support of these dangerous elected officials, or they can keep their Pride this year.”
Lentz agrees, saying, “You can’t turn your logo rainbow on social media, call yourself an ally, and then turn around and make donations that fuel hate … there are really no excuses, and companies like Anheuser-Busch need to own up to what they’ve done.”
In a statement to The Guardian, Anheuser-Busch said it “supports candidates for public office whose policy positions and objectives support investments in our communities, job creation and industry growth.” The company also noted that it has” a clear role to play in bringing real change and creating an inclusive and equitable world we cherish and celebrate one another.”
Bud Light Protest: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Rhododentrites/Creative Commons