A popular Central Florida restaurant is taking a stand for faith and ending its relationship with Bud Light in response to the beer brand’s partnership with a transgender TikTok star to sell its product.
The management of Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar — which started in Port Canaveral and added locations in Melbourne and Orlando — stepped up after it became clear that Bud Light is not going to apologize for enlisting transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney for a promotion last month.
Restaurant owner Joe Penovich explained his stance to patrons Monday in a Facebook post.
“[W]e believe transgenderism is a social experiment causing irreversible damage to a growing population of younger and younger children,” Penovich said. “We will not align with it in any way.”
The Facebook post was made in response to a claim that the workers at the bar called Bud Light “faggot beer.” Penovich strongly denied that.
“This was posted on a personal FB account that has since been deleted but continues to be recycled by outlets with differing views than ours,” he wrote. “I have requested to meet with this individual to discuss these serious allegations and asked for a specific time and location on our property he heard and witnessed these things in order to review security camera footage.”
Penovich continued, “I can assure you, our patrons and employees, many who know me personally and followed the Grills story, this post is not true and not remotely characteristic of who we are or what our reputation in the community has been for over 25 years.
“Myself, management and our employees are devastated by the fact that this post deeply hurt members of the gay community and our employees that we have cared about and treated with the same non-judgmental respect we have given everyone for over 25 years.
“This for me personally and Grills as a company, is the first time we have really experienced an attempt to defame our character. But I get it, these are the times we are in, there is a divide growing deeper and angrier over this and many other issues.”
The restaurateur went on to explain in more detail why Grills decided to stop selling Bud Light.
“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,” Penovich wrote. “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.”
He concluded by saying, “We are prayerfully asking God how to separate from corporations such as Anheuser-Bush that are promoting and attempting to profit from this experiment. A letter written to their corporate headquarters that outlines our decisions to date will be made available to the public.
“These plans are subject to change as this situation develops further. Thank you for your support and prayers.”
According to WESH-TV, some patrons said they support the move.
“We looked up the beers that Bud Light makes, and we will not buy them. I’ll go to Coors and I hope their sales rise and Bud Light falls,” customer Brigette McKnight told the outlet.
In a weak attempt to spin itself out of the hole it has dug, Anheuser-Busch issued a statement on Friday invoking patriotism — despite the fact it is owned by a Belgian conglomerate.
“We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country,” said CEO Brendan Whitworth, who was once an employee of the CIA. “Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere.
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
— Anheuser-Busch (@AnheuserBusch) April 14, 2023
But it does not look like the boycott is going to be ending anytime soon.
Joe Penovich and the staff at Grills Seafood Deck deserve to be applauded for standing up for their beliefs and trying to lead their lives following the biblical principles they hold dear. More should follow their example.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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