Stonewall Inn Dumps Anheuser-Busch Beer in Protest

The Stonewall Inn has banned Anheuser-Busch’s beer from the establishment.
Donna Aceto

The Stonewall Inn will not sell Bud Light and other beers from Anheuser-Busch over Pride weekend due to their alleged support of anti-LGBTQ lawmakers.

More than a half dozen people took to the sidewalk to pour out alcohol from Anheuser-Busch after Stonewall co-owners Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly hosted a press conference condemning the alcohol giant — the makers of Budweiser and other popular beers — for donations of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBTQ lawmakers. Corporate Accountability Action, a watchdog group, spearheaded the “Keep Your Pride” movement to hold corporations accountable for funding homophobic and transphobic political campaigns. According to data from the National Institute on Money in Politics, Anheuser-Busch contributed more than $35,000 to 29 legislators it described as anti-LGBTQ between 2015 and 2021.

Stonewall Inn co-owners Stacy Lentz and Kurt Kelly ban Anheuser-Busch products from the LGBTQ bar. Donna Aceto

Lentz blasted businesses for coopting the Pride Flag while remaining silent on LGBTQ issues.

“[Anheuser-Busch] fund people that are actually against our community,” Lentz said. “We’re going to pour out their products into the streets today because enough is enough, and Anheuser-Busch, until you change your policies around who you support and your political donations, and until you support the Equality Act, we will ban your products from Stonewall.”

More than a half dozen people took to the sidewalk to pour out alcohol from Anheuser-Busch following the presser.

It’s unclear which lawmakers are funded by the beer manufacturer. However, this announcement comes as states across the US introduce legislation that harms the LGBTQ community. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill on the first day of Pride Month banning trans women and girls from playing on public school sports teams. In another move, DeSantis vetoed funding for LGBTQ initiatives in the state.

The Stonewall Inn is among several businesses calling for corporations to throw their weight behind the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal bill that would build on the Bostock Supreme Court ruling to solidify LGBTQ protections. In April, more than 400 businesses, including Delta, Macy’s, Starbucks, and Amazon, vowed to support the legislation affirming discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across housing, healthcare, education, and more.

Charles Beal, president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, bans the Anheuser-Busch corporation from using their Pride logo. Donna Aceto

Charles Beal, the president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to uplifting the history of the Rainbow Flag, has prohibited Anheuser-Busch from using Rainbow colors in its marketing.

“Although it is free for them to use, we object to corporations that wave the Rainbow Flag with one hand and give money to our detractors with the other,” Beal said. “We are especially mad at Anheuser-Busch donating money to politicians supporting anti-trans laws and anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country.”

Beal added, “If they keep using it, we will keep pouring their beer down into the gutter.”

As the company faces heat for its political contributions, a representative from Anheuser-Busch pushed back against these allegations.

“Our company and our brands are focused on making a positive and lasting impact when it comes to issues of equality,” Anheuser-Busch said in a written statement to Gay City News. “We’re proud of our 22-year partnership with GLAAD, an organization working to shape the narrative and encourage dialogue around LGBTQ+ acceptance, and we are proud to have received a perfect 100 percent score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ Equality. We support candidates that support the beer industry and the millions of jobs that it creates.”

In a press release about Pride Month, the company doubled down on its mission to support diversity and inclusion and noted they are donating some of their beer sales to the Brave Space Alliance, a Black, trans-led organization in Chicago.

LGBTQ advocates pour out Anheuser-Busch beer at Stonewall to protest the company’s support of anti-LGBTQ officials. Donna Aceto

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