Pernod Ricard is to launch a limited edition Absolut Vodka in the US dedicated to gay pride, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Absolut Pride features a rainbow design, the symbol of gay pride, and will be available in retail stories from this month, Aboslut owner Pernod Ricard said yesterday (2 April)

"With its history of sponsorship of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups and LGBT-themed advertisements, Absolut is one of our community's greatest allies," said Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

"This year GLAAD celebrates the twentieth anniversary of our partnership with Absolut, which has directly funded our media advocacy initiatives and enabled us to change hearts and minds with stories about the lives of LGBT people."

Earlier this week, the president of Vin & Sprit Absolut, Ketil Eriksen, announced his intention to step down at the end of June, after four-and-a-half years in the job.