Same-sex marriage
11:30 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Same-sex marriage defenders deliver 'thank you' to Starbucks

A coalition of supporters for same-sex marriage delivered a giant “thank-you” card to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle yesterday with more than 650,000 signatures.

The group said dozens of supporters were on hand to deliver the card to representatives of Starbucks.

James Olson, Starbucks’ VP of Global Corporate Communications, greeted the group and received the card and said, as confirmed by Starbucks:

"We are long-standing supporters of a culture of diversity, and inclusion and equality for everybody, and I'll share this with our fellow leaders and partners (employees). Thank you very much."

The group headed by SumOfUs.org, MoveOn.org and Washington United for Marriage said it started the campaign to support the company after it was attacked by an anti-same-sex marriage group, the National Organization of Marriage.

That group set up the Dump Starbucks webpage, which currently reports 25,862 “pledges.”

"We are urging customers across the globe to 'Dump Starbucks' because it has taken a 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 site declaims.

CEO Howard Schultz defended the company's stance during a company shareholder meeting in March, saying the decision was made "in our view, through the lens of humanity, and being the kind of company that embraces diversity."

"We’ve been stunned by the passionate response to 'Thank Starbucks' – our most viral campaign ever," Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director for SumofUs.org said in a press release.

"We’ve seen in our campaigns that consumers expect corporations to do right by their workers and by their community. We hope that this overwhelming show of support for Starbucks for supporting gay rights will inspire other corporations to keep making similar public statements."