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01/30/2012

NOM threatens Starbucks; my afternoon pick-me-up suddenly upgraded to Venti

by Jeremy Hooper

On April 27th, 2011, the National Organization For Marriage told supporters to "Buy a chicken sandwich, and thank the manager for the company's support of traditional family values." This, along with several other posts on the subject, came after this site and others began shaking out the full breadth of Chick fil-A's anti-gay, anti-marriage-equality advocacy.

Now leap forward to today, where we have NOM saying this about another American foodstuff purveyor:

Olympia, WA—Today, Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), sharply criticized Starbucks' decision to wade into the gay marriage fight in Washington State. That decision comes on top of an earlier decision by Starbucks to ask the Supreme Court to strike down the federal definition of marriage as one man and one woman as well.

"Americans should be able to drink a peaceful cup of coffee without worrying that a portion of the company's profits is going to be used to push gay marriage without a vote from the people," said Brown. "This is a gratuitous leap into a hot button culture war issue; respect for diversity touted by Starbucks ought to include respecting the diverse views of all its customers and employees."

NOM pledged an intensive public relations effort to ask Starbucks customers who favor retaining marriage as the union of husband and wife to complain to company headquarters.

Jonathan Baker, head of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project, called on Starbucks to make it clear they will not discriminate against customers, vendors or employees who oppose same-sex marriage. "Increasingly, gay marriage extremists are arguing that people known to oppose same-sex marriage should not be hired, or even, should be fired. Diversity and tolerance are a two-way street. Having waded into a social issue where Starbucks has no special competence, the company has an obligation to reassure its customers, vendors and employees that it will respect the most important diversity—diversity of opinion," noted Baker.

National Organization for Marriage to Starbucks: "Stay Out of Marriage Fights" [NOM]

Such hypocrisy. The only difference between Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A is that one is standing for something that NOM personally dislikes while the other is speaking the company line. Oh, and of course there's the difference we most always see when considering pro-equality versus anti-equality companies, which is that the former most always embraces the principled stand while the latter does everything in its power to hide the discriminatory pushes.

Starbucks quite openly and proudly joined other giants like Microsoft, Google, and Nike in taking a public stand for what is right, forward-thinking, and fair. NOM can boycott all they want, and they may even peel a customer or two away from the famously addictive, famously thriving chain. But their larger fight against the changing American tide is more than a tall order. In fact, It's a Venti cup of inevitable loss.

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