Amid scandal over NOM’s race baiting tactics comes another blow: Starbucks says NOM’s boycott over the chain’s pro-marriage equality stance is having no impact.
“We’re not seeing any impact,” says Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson. If anything, NOM’s attack has endeared Starbucks to the public and sends a message to Fortune 500 companies that defending gay rights is safe political ground.
Not only that, but it seems like NOM’s Starbucks boycott is helping to solidify support for Washington’s marriage equality law.
Josh Friedes a spokesman for Equal Rights Washington, which is working against an effort to repeal the law in November, said NOM’s boycott was helping bring together supporters.
“There has been an incredible Facebook campaign of photos of people drinking coffee at Starbucks. In some ways, NOM did our work for us. They are highlighting the fact that major corporations based in Washington state are supporting marriage equality and that an out-of-state, anti-gay organization is spearheading the movement to derail it.”
“NOM for years has been so feared for having been strategic,” he added. “Now for the first time, they appear to be flailing because the proposed boycott of Starbucks was incredibly poorly conceived.”
Outrage was high at the National Organization for Marriage when the CEO of Starbucks said at a shareholder meeting last week that a decision to support marriage equality was “not a difficult decision for us.”
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.”
Infuriated, NOM launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign but it has been widely outpaced by a rival campaign in support of Starbuck’s position and revelations about NOM’s race-baiting, “elite” youth recruiting tactics.