Caution: too hot to handle

By on April 2, 2013
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Supreme Court same-sex marriage case heats up Starbucks’ stance

Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz, declared the company’s supportive stance on same-sex marriage at their annual shareholder’s meeting this month, sparking a resurgence of the “Dump Starbucks” campaign.

Starbucks is well known for their strong beliefs in diversity and equality. According to Forbes, the stance taken by Schultz and the company does seem a bit harsh towards shareholders who oppose same-sex marriage due to marriage or religious reasons.

Starbucks takes a firm stance supporting same-sex marriage. In opposition, many groups have started a "Dump Starbucks" campaign. Carlene Robinson/News Editor

Starbucks takes a firm stance supporting same-sex marriage. In opposition, many groups have started a “Dump Starbucks” campaign. Carlene Robinson/News Editor

When prompted by a shareholder who supported traditional marriage, Schultz held his position and responded with this statement: “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free county. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

The timing of this outburst of opinions comes during the firestorm over constitutional controversy at the Supreme Court. Even though tolerance and acceptance has been on the rise over the past few years, opposition and bigotry has had a larger presence within religiously affiliated groups.

As a result of opposition, the Dump Starbucks movement was started in January of 2012. Their petition to boycott Starbucks has been signed by 59,552 people across the world.

They have claims that Starbucks has “declared a culture war on all people of faith (and millions of others) who believe that the institution of marriage as one man and one woman is worth preserving.”

Supporters of Dump Starbucks are asked to sign their petition which sends a statement to the CEO and Board of Directors of Starbucks.

The statement is as follows: “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 U.S. customers and the vast majority of your international consumers. Starbucks is using its resources to invalidate traditional marriage in the U.S. 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.”

The opposition has been unable to captivate the college audience. UAB student, Morgan Glenn, a supporter of traditional marriage, states, “The company’s views will not affect my decision to purchase products from Starbucks.”

Sarah Stephenson
Staff Writer
sarahlou@uab.edu

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