Brown-Forman hosts annual Pride Celebration for employees and community partners

Brown-Forman staff and guests gathered Wednesday to celebrate Pride month. Photo by Sara Havens

Brown-Forman staff and guests gathered Wednesday to celebrate Pride month. | Photo by Sara Havens

More than 150 Brown-Forman employees and community partners gathered on the company’s campus Wednesday afternoon for a lively Pride celebration. The seventh annual event was hosted by Brown-Forman’s LGBT Employee Resource Group (ERG) and featured guest speaker Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

DJ Syimone started spinning tunes around 3 p.m., and soon, the small group of organizers who were putting the last minute touches on decorations and booths were joined by hundreds of fellow co-workers and guests. Four local bars — including Big Bar, Nowhere/Somewhere, Chill Bar and The Hub — offered up samples of cocktails made from Brown-Forman products, and a couple tables of appetizers counterbalanced the drinks.

About an hour into the event, Kirsten Hawley, chief human resources officer and the Pride executive ERG sponsor, spoke about her company’s commitment to celebrating and accepting diversity and noted that Brown-Forman was designated as a “Best Place to Work” for LGBT equality by the Human Rights Campaign and received a 100 percent Corporate Equality Index for the past six years.

Sen. McGarvey then took the stage and spoke about the continued fight for equality in Kentucky’s state government, including the recent victory of streamlining marriage licenses so those getting married can pick how they want to be identified and won’t have to have the signature of a county clerk. As an ally to the LGBT community, McGarvey said there’s still a lot of work to be done — mentioning a statewide fairness ordinance — and he will continue to stand up to discrimination of his constituents.

Take a look at more images from the celebration.