Gay marriage debate video sparks boycott of Australian beer company
Australia's largest independent beer company has found itself at the centre of an unprecedented public boycott over its involvement in a controversial video about same-sex marriage.
Several bars and pubs have announced they will no longer be stocking beverages produced by Coopers Brewery after it was featured prominently in the clip created by religious group the Bible Society about marriage equality, which is not yet legal in Australia.
The video featured Australian MPs Tim Wilson (a same-sex marriage supporter) and Andrew Hastie (who opposes it) debating their respective positions in a 'light' debate, before toasting with a Coopers Premium Light beer.
The video has been criticised by many for trivialising the issue of equality, and led to accusations Coopers does not support same-sex marriage – promoting #BoycottCoopers hashtag to begin trending.
Coopers have distanced themselves from the video, insisting that no money was exchanged and they "did not give permission" to be included. However, the company does have a business Revelations with the Bible Society - recently releasing 10,000 cartons of commemorative Premium Light beer to mark the group's 200th anniversary
Since then many Australian pubs have spoken out against Coopers, saying that they will no longer stock their beer.
Coopers have since attempted to minimise the damage with an apology video in which they declare their support of "diversity".
Managing director Tim Cooper said: "On behalf of the Coopers board and senior staff, we are incredibly saddened by the impact our involvement with the Bible Society has had on our valued Coopers drinkers and our extended family."
"As a longstanding philanthropic company, Coopers Brewery has been passionate about supporting all aspects of our community and has actively and financially embraced many different organisations."
Director of finance and corporate affairs at the brewer, Melanie Cooper, added that the company has always "been supportive of diversity and encourages individualism, our company supports marriage equality."
She then added that they have suspended their work with Bible Society and were working towards showing their support for the LGBT community by joining Marriage Equality Australia.