The famed Stonewall Inn is banning Budweiser, Bud Light, and all other Anheuser-Busch products from Pride weekend celebrations at the iconic establishment due to the beermaker’s contributions to lawmakers who supported anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and causes over the years. Co-owners Stacy Lentz and Jurt Kelly decided to symbolically pour Anheuser-Busch products down the drain in support of the Keep Your Pride campaign, a project of Corporate Accountability Action, which identified five companies it said donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers while simultaneously portraying themselves as allies to the community.
“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 in a statement. “There are really no excuses, and companies like Anheuser-Busch need to own up to what they’ve done.”
The move came in response to a report from Keep Your Pride which found Anheuser-Busch had donated over $35,000 to anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers between 2015 and 2021. Maeve Coyle, a spokesperson for Keep Your Pride, called out “so-called ‘allied’ corporations” who benefited from Pride but supported anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers and, by extension, their anti-LGBTQ+ causes.
“There’s been a sharp uptick in anti-trans legislation across the country this year as anti-LGBTQ legislators have worked day and night to make life harder for trans youth — all for gross political gain,” Coyle said in a statement earlier this month.
Lentz echoed Coyle’s sentiments in a post to Instagram, warning Anheuser-Busch and other companies identified in the Keep Your Pride campaign they “can’t have it both ways!
The original Stonewall Inn is generally recognized as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement when, on June 28, 1969, queer patrons fought back against a police raid. The ensuing riots galvanized the LGBTQ+ community to organize and advocate for equal rights and protections, and fight against discriminatory laws and hate. As the owners of the current Stonewall Inn, Lentz said they felt a sense of responsibility to use their platform to take a stand against hatred and hypocrisy.
“We just felt Stonewall having the platform, the power to do this, it was important to stand up,” Lentz told the Associated Press. “We really just want Anheuser-Busch to stop donating to lawmakers who are trying to legalize discrimination.”