An Australian brewery has reportedly canceled the release of a limited edition light beer to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Bible Society due to the controversy caused by a video debate about gay marriage that was created as part of a publicity campaign.
Coopers brewery planned to release 10,000 cases of premium light beer emblazoned with Bible verses, according to The Guardian. However, pubs and bars began expressing their intentions to boycott the brewery following the release of a video debate about same-sex marriage, which featured Liberal MPs Andrew Hastie and Tim Wilson discussing the issue while drinking Coopers Premium Light beers.
The Hollywood Hotel, Newtown Hotel and The Old Bar were among the establishments that announced plans to boycott Coopers.
The video titled "Keeping It Light" is part of the society's campaign to foster a respectful "national conversation," which it said had become "fraught with shallowness and contempt for those who have a differing opinion."
Following the calls for a boycott, Coopers issued an apology, saying it "never intended to make light of such an important issue."
"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," said Coopers' managing director, Dr. Tim Cooper, in a video statement.
Cooper added that the company did not approve the release of the video debate. The Bible Society also stated that the brewery was not involved in making the video.
"Coopers has definitely not paid any money or donated any money towards the video. It was produced solely by Bible Society Australia," a spokesperson for the Bible Society told the Daily Mail.
Coopers maintained that the company was not trying to "push a religious message," and he said that the commemorative cans were supposed to celebrate the society's 200 years of charitable work in Australia.
Melanie Cooper, the brewer's director of corporate affairs, claimed that the company supports marriage equality and has always encouraged individualism. She apologized for the brewery's involvement with the Bible Society and announced the cancellation of the commemorative cans.
"We have consequently cancelled the release of our Bible Society commemorative cans and will be taking steps to show further support for our community, including joining Marriage Equality Australia," she said.