With its anti-Starbucks campaign floundering in the US, the National Organization for Marriage has decided to export its campaign abroad to countries that may well react negatively to Starbucks’ gay marriage advocacy.
“In our first week, we gained 25,000 pledge signers in the U.S. alone; today we go international, expanding DumpStarbucks.com campaigns into Mandarin, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, and Bahala [sic] (one of the chief languages of Indonesia),” announced NOM President Brian Brown. “DumpStarbucks.com online ads will also start running in Egypt, Beijing, Hong Kong, the Yunnan region of China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.”
“What happens in Seattle won’t to stay in Seattle,” Brown continued. “By making gay marriage core to his brand, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz [sic] is telling millions of customers and partners who support traditional marriage in the Middle East, China, South America and North America that they aren’t truly part of the Starbucks community.”
“The National Organization for Marriage is in this for the long haul,” said Jonathan Baker, head of NOM’s Corporate Fairness Project. “Here’s our goal: If Howard Schultz and his insular Seattle liberals hear from enough of us, management will move to a more genuinely inclusive attitude toward its customers’ and partners’ diverse views on marriage. People should be able to drink or serve a great cup of coffee without betraying their own core values on marriage.”
Starbucks as a company recently endorsed gay marriage in the state of Washington, and signed onto an amicus brief asking U.S. courts to overturn the federal definition of marriage as one man and one woman. NOM’s DumpStarbucks.com protest campaign was launched after Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz confirmed that gay marriage is “core” to the Starbucks brand.
The embattled National Organization for Marriage was left reeling a few weeks ago after the Human Rights Campaign secured internal documents of NOM’s that showed the group’s race-baiting, international strategy.
The Starbucks campaign has also been disastrous for NOM given that Starbucks sales have remained steady since CEO Howard Schultz said that the company supported Washington’s marriage equality law (though he didn’t say it was the “core” of the brand like NOM is claiming).
However, NOM’s move to take this campaign international is not only a new low for the anti-gay group, it is potentially dangerous.
LGBT rights in the Middle East are taboo and NOM risks actively promoting a climate of hostility against Starbucks employees and patrons that goes beyond just public disagreement. In several of the countries NOM is targeting, merely being perceived as gay has been enough for people to be imprisoned by law officials or even killed by fellow citizens.
With this move NOM exposes the true depths it is willing to sink to in order to push its anti-gay agenda and also demonstrates its disregard for human life.
Image taken from NOM press release under fair use.