From The Stranger:
After confronting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at last week’s annual Starbucks shareholders’ meeting, a furious National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced an international boycott against the coffee company because “purchasing a cup of Starbucks equals support for gay marriage.”
But so far, “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.
The clash began during the question-and-answer period at the shareholder meeting, which was held at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, when NOM’s Jonathan Baker scorned the company’s “controversial” position to uphold marriage equality on the fall ballot in Washington State.
“I would assure you that the senior team of Starbucks discussed this, and it was, to be candid with you, not something that was a difficult decision for us,” Schultz said to a burst of applause from the stock-holding crowd. “We made that decision in our view through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.”
When pressed by another NOM spokesman whether it is “prudent to risk the economic interest” of the company to support gay marriage, Schultz remained unfazed. He explained that Starbucks employs 200,000 people—with the obvious subtext that the number includes lots of gay people.
NOM, of course, was outraged.
Within hours, the group launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign—which featured more than a dozen blog posts, the promise of ads around the world, and an online petition at www.dumpstarbucks.com.
It looks like America doesn’t give a cup about NOM.