Thaddeus Baklinski


Starbucks CEO tells shareholder to sell his shares if he doesn’t like gay ‘marriage’

Thaddeus Baklinski

SEATTLE, Washington, March 26, 2013 ( - At the annual Starbucks shareholder's meeting in Seattle last week, company CEO Howard Shultz told a shareholder that he should buy stocks in other coffee businesses if he didn't like Starbucks’ endorsement of same-sex "marriage."

Shareholder Tom Strobhar had pointed to what he argued was a significant drop in sales following a boycott launched by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) protesting Starbucks’ support of homosexual "marriage" in Washington state.

"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing," said Strobhar according to a report.

Strobhar questioned whether it was a prudent business move for Starbucks to risk share value by supporting gay "marriage."

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, Schultz, after interrupting Strobhar twice by asking “What is your question?” told the shareholders, “Not every decision is an economic decision.”

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“The lens we use to make decisions is the lens of our people. We want to embrace diversity,” Schultz said. He then told Strobhar, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it's a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much."

The National Organization for Marriage has urged customers to "Dump Starbucks," over its 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," the group states. The group also says, "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." 

The boycott campaign's petition against Starbucks has been signed by over 57,000 individuals.

"Starbucks is using its resources to invalidate traditional marriage in the US and redefine the institution of marriage despite the strongly held views of so many of its customers, including me," the petition states. "Therefore, I will no longer purchase anything from Starbucks until you change your corporate values to be more reflective of my own." 

The American Family Association (AFA) also encourages coffee drinkers to no longer support Starbucks but take their business elsewhere. They also asked customers to let Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz know they don't agree with his company's aggressive attempts to re-define marriage.

An email form addressed to Shultz is available on the AFA website.

On AFA's Focal Point program, host Bryan Fischer interviewed Starbucks shareholder Tom Strobhar who explains what happened at the meeting. The interview, which includes a clip of Mr. Shultz' comments, is available here