WASHINGTON, March 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Your morning cup of coffee isn’t the only heated thing Starbucks is brewing.
Because of the coffee giant’s aggressive activism in support of the controversial issue of same-sex “marriage,” pro-family advocates have launched a boycott to send a message that Starbucks should keep coffee out of the marriage debate.
The DumpStarbucks campaign was launched by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) after Kalen Holmes, Starbucks executive vice president, told U.S. partners in January that the Seattle-based company backed Washington state’s same-sex “marriage” legislation as “core to who we are and what we value as a company.”
The coffee company has publicly supported the gay rights agenda since at least 2005, and has joined an amicus brief against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
At a board meeting on March 21, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz confirmed Holmes’ statement as the position adopted by the board and “not something that was a difficult decision for us.”
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NOM chair Maggie Gallagher questioned the decision of the company to back efforts to unravel the legal definition of marriage.
“Millions of good, honorable, decent and loving people believe that marriage is the union of husband and wife for a reason—these unions make new life and connect children to a mom and a dad,” said Gallagher, who was present at the Starbucks board meeting. “Of all the sustainable ecosystems Starbucks might want to support, surely this one is worthy of a company that bills itself as a company with a conscience?”
The DumpStarbucks campaign is asking marriage defenders to let both their local Starbucks and company HQ know their reasons for forgoing their frappucinos. The campaign, which includes a petition to Starbucks CEO Schultz, has already reached over 23,000 pledges, and is expected to reach as far as China and the Middle East.
Joe Solmonese, head of the leading gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, dismissed the boycott as a “temper-tantrum” and defended Starbucks as “a vocal supporter of marriage equality.”
When it comes to boycotts, however, the tables are usually turned the other way: the gay rights movement has frequently used corporate pressure to punish companies or individuals for supporting traditional marriage, or for maintaining links to Christian pro-family groups.
Recently, a petition on the liberal site Change.org targeted the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A for its Christian affiliations, and demanded that the popular chain be removed from college campuses. Similar pressure has been directed at major companies for even giving an equal platform to pro-family views, such as Apple, which ultimately removed a Manhattan Declaration app and other conservative apps at the behest of gay rights protesters. Paypal also acceded to demands by the gay rights group All Out to “end the online hate trade” by cutting off pro-family groups from using their service.
Gallagher said that she doesn’t “generally support boycotts.” “But Starbucks has voluntarily decided—as a corporation—to associate its brand with a major political issue,” she said, noting that the decision would seem to contradict the company’s promises in some parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, not to subsidize political causes.
NOM Cultural Director Thomas Peters told LifeSiteNews.com that the boycott is only in its first stage. “People don’t want their coffee company taking sides in a culture war,” said Peters.
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