Kurt Kelly and Stacy Lentz, owners of the historic Stonewall Inn, say they will not serve Anheuser-Busch products during NYC’s Pride weekend, June 25-27, in response to news that the company has contributed political donations to lawmakers behind recent anti-trans bills.
Community members will join Kelly and Lentz this Wednesday, June 23, in a public “pour-out” of Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Stella Artois to demand that the company stops donating to anti-LGBTQ legislators and commit to using its lobbying efforts to advance the Equality Act.
The ban is also in support of the “Keep Your Pride” campaign, a recently launched effort highlighting companies that allegedly supports Pride, but continues to support anti-LGBTQ causes.
The campaign compiled data from the National Institute of Money in Politics and revealed that Anheuser-Busch has made 48 donations since 2015, totaling more than $35,000, to 29 legislators behind recent bills attacking trans youth.
Stonewall's owners say they won't serve certain beers at the famous LGBTQ bar during Pride weekend to protest Anheuser-Busch's political contributions to anti-LGBTQ politicians.https://t.co/QwPuveuwMq
— NBC Out (@NBCOUT) June 21, 2021
“You can’t turn your logo rainbow on social media, call yourself an ally, and then turn around and make donations that fuel hate,” Lentz said. “There are really no excuses, and companies like Anheuser-Busch need to own up to what they’ve done.
“As a business owner, it’s never easy to stop selling a product that affects your bottom line – especially during the busiest weekend of the year,” she continued. “But I’m an activist above all else, and we at The Stonewall Inn know we bear a unique responsibility to call out hypocrisy when we see it. Anheuser-Busch and other companies must do better.”
Kelly added, “As one of our best selling products, Bud Light has been a longtime staple here at The Stonewall Inn. It’s deeply disappointing to learn that Anheuser-Busch has given money to lawmakers who are attacking trans kids, some of the most vulnerable people in the LGBTQ community. 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.”
Through its nonprofit arm, The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, Stonewall recently launched the Safe Spaces program, which identifies and certifies entertainment venues, food and beverage locations, stores, businesses, and other public venues as safe spaces for LGBTQ people. Under certification criteria, businesses that donate to anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and causes would no qualify.
Anheuser-Busch responded in a statement saying, “We support candidates for public office whose policy positions and objectives support investments in our communities, job creation, and industry growth. 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.”