Groups to Boycott Starbucks Over Stances on Gay Rights, Guns

Separate boycotts criticize coffee chain's positions on contentious issues.

Some religious and political groups are urging Starbucks customers to grab their morning coffee elsewhere in light of the company's stance on gay marriage and its policy on guns.

USA Christian Ministries, a group boycotting Starbucks for its recent support of gay marriage in the state of Washington, said in a news release that the coffee chain's decision has angered Christians.

"Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God," Steven Andrew, president of USA Christian Ministries, said.

The group hopes that, with full support from Christians, Starbucks, which operates two locations in Plymouth, could lose up to 80 percent of its business.

Starbucks joined Microsoft and Nike in publicly supporting gay marriage in a statement last week, according to the Seattle Times. In its statement, Kalen Holmes, executive vice president for partner resources, said the company embraces diversity and provides an "inclusive, supportive and safe work environment" for its employees.

"This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners," the statement read. "It is core to who we are and what we value as a company."

Plymouth resident Heather Lee said in a Facebook post that, given Starbucks' position on gay marriage, she would frequent the business more.

"Starbucks was once last on my list of coffee places to visit in Plymouth," she said, indicating she often frequented the and . "I'm doing a reverse boycott and plan on frequenting Starbucks more often. I would much rather give my money to companies that support my right to marry."

Rebecca Schmidt said on Facebook that she believes it isn't major corporations' place to make public political statements.

"Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike really have no business taking a stance either way," she wrote. "It is no way relevant to their business."

This isn't the first time the company has made headlines for taking a stance on gay marriage. In 2011, Starbucks was among a group of 70 business and organizations opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, CNN reported.

An unrelated Feb. 14 boycott is planned to protest the company's policy allowing customers with guns to be served.

The National Gun Victims Action Council, an anti-gun group, said in a Jan. 23 news release its goal is to "eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S."

Steve C February 01, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Companies should stay out of these heated moral issues. It is stupid to offend any segment of your customer base, especially a majority of your customers. @ B A Dragon Who are "real" Christians? Real Christians follow Jesus Christ and have made Him their Lord and Savior. Jesus condemned the sin, not the sinner. He certainly wouldn't support the sin.
Steve C February 01, 2012 at 08:32 PM
@ Kerry. I agree. No one wants religion shoved down their throats and when 4% of the population can force their agenda in our schools and communities, it's very offensive. It's a private matter and should be kept private.
Emily Florence February 02, 2012 at 03:27 AM
The problem with a boycott is that it hurts the common worker, not the corporate bigwig who is calling the shots. All of these people simply trying to make a living lose so much more than anyone else in this. They have no say in policy; they want to pay their bills.
B A Dragon February 04, 2012 at 03:29 PM
@Steve C "Real" Christians practice the principles that Jesus lived by. He didn't force his religion on people who didn't want it, nor did he discriminate against anyone for "sinning". Which 4% of the population are you concerned about forcing their agenda in our social lives? 65% of the world population and between 15 and 25% of Americans are NOT Christian. So why should they be forced to participate in Christian rituals in THEIR social life?
Steve C February 07, 2012 at 10:15 PM
You are right Jesus didn't discriminate, but he took action. He made a whip and drove out the evil money changers in the temple courts. Who is forcing who to participate in Christian rituals? For myself, not speaking for Christians, it's a private matter. If you are a public entity, don't discriminate, but also don't promote controversial issues and be surprised you are getting complaints or worst boycotts.


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