Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks for those watching the gay marriage saga in the US. Earlier this year, Starbucks came out in support of marriage equality in Washington State. Since that time, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has launched into attack mode against Starbucks (you remember NOM, that crazy organization that promotes ex-gay therapy and funnels millions of dollars into states that are facing marriage amendments, yeah, that NOM).
At a Starbucks’ shareholders meeting earlier this month, NOM’s director of corporate fairness project, Jonathan Baker, asked about the decision to support marriage equality. When CEO Howard Schultz shared that it was in no way a difficult decision for the board to make, NOM didn’t like that.
As a result, a “Dump Starbucks” campaign was launched asking for signatures from those also outraged at Starbucks’ decision to support marriage equality for same-sex couples. As of April 1, the pledge has received over 25,000 pledges.
Ok, so 25,000 is a lot of people threatening to dump Starbucks. On the other hand, another campaign was launched via SumOfUs.org to thank Starbucks for their support of gay marriage. I’m happy to share that as of April 1, this petition has received over 463,000 signatures. Nearly 20 times the number of signatures that the NOM-supported petition has received.
At the end of the day, the message is clear: Big Business can speak out in support of marriage equality and not fear retaliation. Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson shared that the organization is “not seeing any impact” in regards to the boycott. In fact, the SumOfUs petition and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, have been all abuzz with people standing up for Starbucks. While not necessarily the plan, that’s pretty good PR. Supporting gay marriage actually may end up helping them sell more of their delicious treats.
Note: You can say “thank you” to Strabucks in many ways. Stop by your local store and thank your baristas, share this post with your friends on social media sites or simply sign your name to the SumOfUs page and help reach the goal of 500,000 signatures.