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Starbucks same-sex marriage support profitable, but shareholders start anti-gay campaign

Recently, Satarbucks vice-president Kalen Holmes released a memo to the company's US partners that stated: 

“Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the US, helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.” 

Amidst concerns from investors that Starbucks' decision to vocalize their support of same-sex marriage would be financially detrimental, especially in nations where the coffee company is expanding and homosexuality is still a contentious issue, CEO Howard Shultz has spoken out:

“I would say, candidly, since we made that decision, there has not been any dilution whatsoever in our business, and as you can see, shareholder value has increased significantly,” Schultz said. “Performance in many ways should be

one of the metrics to decide whether or not this decision in any way has been dilutive, and it hasn’t.”

That hasn't stopped Starbucks shareholder Jonathan Baker, who's also the head of the National Organization of Marriage's Corporate Fairness Project, from starting a petition and campaign at dumpstarbucks.com. 

“Here’s our goal: If Howard Schultz and his insular Seattle liberals hear from enough of us, management will move to a more genuinely inclusive attitude toward its customers’ and partners’ diverse views on marriage,” Baker states on the NOM website. “People should be able to drink or serve a great cup of coffee without betraying their own core values on marriage.”

More than 36,000 people have signed the petition which declares:

“I am deeply offended by your corporate position to support same-sex marriage and your decision to wage a culture war against the moral views of half your US customers and the vast majority of your international consumers. Starbucks is using its resources to invalidate traditional marriage in the US and redefine the institution of marriage, despite the strongly held views of so many of its customers, including me. Therefore, I will no longer purchase anything from Starbucks until you change your corporate values to be more reflective of my own.”

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