Guinness has dropped its sponsorship of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day Parade because gay and lesbian groups aren't allowed to march openly.

"Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all," the company said.  "We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year's parade.  As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation."

The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village had planned to dump barrels of Guinness in protest of their participation.  Now that protest won't take place and the beer will continue to be served.

Gay and lesbian groups are allowed to march in the parade.  However, they can't carry signs identifying themselves.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and several other city officials had previously announced they were boycotting the parade.  De Blasio is the first mayor in decades not to march.

Up to one million people are expected to line Fifth Avenue for the parade.  Thousands will march, including many city workers.  The parade has been in existence for more than 200 years.


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