The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) was dealt another blow yesterday when the CEO of Starbucks said at a shareholder meeting that a decision to support marriage equality was “not a difficult decision for us.” Infuriated, NOM has now launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign.
Howard Schultz, CEO of the Seattle-based Starbucks coffee retailer was prompted by two questions during a shareholder meeting on Wednesday, allegedly from people planted by the National Organization for Marriage, regarding the company’s support for Washington’s same-sex marriage law. Starbucks issued a notice in January that it supported Washington’s push for marriage equality.
Schultz replied to one question that, “In our view, through the lens of humanity, and being the kind of company that embraces diversity” marriage equality is an important issue, and Schultz received loud applause when he told the group that the decision to support same-sex marriage was “not something that was a difficult decision.”
When asked by yet another NOM affiliate, “Is it prudent to risk the economic interests of all the shareholders for something that might affect the private lives of a very small percentage of our employees?” Schultz responded that the value of the company “has a great deal to do with whether or not our people are proud of the company they work for and feel they are part of something larger than themselves” and that Starbucks has, since announcing its marriage equality support, continued to increase shareholder value without any kind of dilution of businesses growth.
You can watch a video of Schultz’s comments below:
Now the National Organization for Marriage has launched a Dump Starbucks campaign because they really didn’t like Schultz’s answer. The copy on their website reads:
We are urging customers across the globe to ‘Dump Starbucks’ because it has taken a corporate-wide position that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become equally ‘normal’. As such, Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers, and the vast majority of its international customers.
In many areas of the world where Starbucks does business, the concept of ‘gay marriage’ is unheard of and deeply offensive to cultural, moral and religious values.
In taking these actions, Starbucks has declared a culture war on all people of faith (and millions of others) who believe that the institution of marriage as one man and one woman is worth preserving.
A portion of every cup of coffee purchased at a Starbucks anywhere in the world goes to fund this corporate assault on marriage.
We urge consumers across the globe to join the ‘Dump Starbucks’ campaign.
It is misinformation that “Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers” given that more than half of US citizens now regularly poll in favor of marriage equality.
The Human Rights Campaign released a statement calling NOM’s new action an exercise in bullying:
“NOM is falling back on their typical tactics. Starbucks has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality for loving same-sex couples — views that are in-line with the majority of Americans — and that enrages NOM,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “As a result, NOM is throwing a temper-tantrum and encouraging its few supporters to intentionally harm the economic well-being of Starbucks employees all over the world.”
Starbucks is not alone in joining the growing tides of Americans and corporations who support marriage equality. Other corporations that joined Starbucks in supporting the push for marriage equality in Washington State included Alcoa, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nike, and Vulcan.
“People like Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher no doubt use products from the dozens of consumer-facing brands that have come out in support of marriage equality and against Proposition 8 on a daily basis,” added Solmonese. “They include Microsoft, Apple, Google, Alcoa, Nike, and top executives from companies like Yahoo and Facebook. Nonetheless, it appears NOM launched their ‘Dump Starbucks’ campaign on Facebook. Do they not have any Microsoft software in their office? Do they ban employees from owning iPhones?”
The National Organization for Marriage is an SPLC designated anti-gay group that, while claiming to only oppose gay marriage, has backed campaigns that would have rescinded or actively fought against civil union legislation. NOM has also repeatedly resisted and even flouted court rulings and state laws regarding sponsorship and campaign funding disclosure.
NOM is currently supporting Preserve Marriage Washington’s Referendum 74 drive to collect 120,577 valid voter signatures by June 6 in order to put the state’s new marriage equality law on the ballot.