SEATTLE — The National Organization for Marriage on Wednesday announced it has launched a boycott of Starbucks after the coffee giant’s chief executive flatly rejected a complaint by the NOM that it reconsider its support of marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz defended the company’s pro-gay marriage stance during its shareholders’ meeting, and said the decision was made “through the lens of humanity, and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.”
“Any decision of this type or magnitude has be made with great thoughtfulness and I would assure you that a senior team at Starbucks discussed this. To be very candid with you, this was not something that was a difficult decision for us and we did share this with the board as well.
“We made that decision, in our view, through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.”
Schultz’ statement was met with strong applause by assembled shareholders.
Following the meeting, the NOM announced a “Dump Starbucks” protest, promising to place ads throughout the United States and Southeast Asia, urging consumers to boycott the company.
NOM is supporting a referendum effort to overturn a recently passed law legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state.
Starbucks was one of several high-profile Washington-based corporations to publicly support the marriage equality legislation.