A Florida chain of three restaurants recently said it was removing Bud Light beer from its menu because of “biblical faith” following the company’s decision to partner with a transgender person.
In a Facebook post on Monday, Joe Penovich, the owner of the Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar, responded to a post accusing the chain of throwing out Bud Light bottles and kegs because of the beer brand’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer. The chain’s restaurants are in Port Canaveral, Melbourne and Orlando.
The Facebook post denied claims by employees that beer was being thrown out but said, “It is true we made the decision to remove Bud Light because of their support of something that is in direct opposition to our Biblical faith.”
The post continued: “Setting aside a deeper dive into our Biblical viewpoints for now, we believe transgenderism is a social experiment causing irreversible damage to a growing population of younger and younger children. We will not align with it in any way.”
The chain’s announcement follows the ongoing controversy surrounding Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch, after its decision to partner with Mulvaney, who was given a customized Bud Light can earlier this month. The can was intended to promote Mulvaney’s video series “Days of Girlhood,” about the 365 days since her transition to a woman.
Since the partnership, Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch have been the target of a backlash and calls to boycott the beer brand.
In his Facebook post, Penovich said, “There is no judgement in our heart concerning those who believe in these rapidly changing social values. But there is a lie being levied that we and other Christians hate Dylan Mulvaney and the gay community. Nothing could be further from the truth in our hearts and minds. Our decision was made with many tears for this circumstance and what we see as corporate greed and a deeper spiritual reality coming upon this world.”
Penovich also said in the post that he had sent a letter to Anheuser-Busch’s corporate office that explains the chain’s decision to remove the beer from its menu.
“We are prayerfully asking God how to separate from corporations such as Anheuser-Bush that are promoting and attempting to profit from this [social] experiment,” the post said.
Newsweek reached out by phone to Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar for further comment.
In response to the criticism directed at Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch, the parent company’s CEO, Brendan Whitworth, issued a statement saying, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
He continued: “My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage. I care deeply about this country, this company, our brands and our partners.”
Newsweek reached out to Anheuser-Busch via email for further comment.