The Seattle Times noted that Starbucks joins a list of other major Washington-based businesses which have climbed aboard the state’s “gay marriage” train. In a January 19 letter to Gov. Christine Gregoire, who is aggressively pushing for passage of the pro-homosexual legislation, executives with Microsoft, Nike, Group Health, Concur, Vulcan, and RealNetworks wrote that they were uniting “to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.”
In 2005 Microsoft generated major backlash when it failed to support a state “gay rights” measure, which ended up failing by a single vote. “After heavy criticism, the company later changed its position and endorsed the legislation, as well as subsequent bills, including domestic partnerships for same-sex couples,” reported the Seattle Times.
This year, the computer software giant left no doubt about its warm embrace of the homosexual agenda, issuing a statement to let everyone know that it had joined the other companies in signing the letter to the Governor and was a rainbow flag-waving supporter of same-sex marriage. “This position builds on our history of supporting corporate and public policies that promote inclusion and equality,” the company’s statement emphasized.
Champions of traditional marriage were quick to respond to Starbucks’ promotion of itself and same-sex marriage, with Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, observing that the company’s endorsement is “a sad development. We’re seeing the corporate world gravitate more and more towards the pro-gay position and, of course, it ends up with many companies ultimately supporting same-sex marriage.” What is particularly troubling, said LaBarbera, is that businesses such as Starbucks “seem so much more solicitous of one to three percent of the population than the many, many millions of pro-family, mainly Christian consumers who oppose the redefinition of marriage.”
Dr. Michael Brown, author of A Queer Thing Happened to America, told LifeSiteNews.com that he is not surprised by Starbucks’ embrace of the homosexual agenda, noting that as early as 2005 company representatives had told him in writing that “embracing diversity,” one of the company’s stated core values, meant sponsoring “gay pride” events, “even when highly inappropriate, sexual displays were paraded in public.”
Brown recalled that “when I asked them to name a single pro-life event they sponsored, or an event encouraging teen-abstinence or the celebration of marriage … their national representative told me plainly by phone, ‘I don’t like the way this conversation is going.’ So much for diversity!” He advised, “Christians need to recognize that Starbucks is on the front lines of gay activism and is anything but friendly to biblical, Judeo-Christian family values.”
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), argued that “Americans should be able to drink a peaceful cup of coffee without worrying that a portion of the company’s profits is going to be used to push gay marriage without a vote from the people.” He called Starbucks’ statement “a gratuitous leap into a hot button culture war issue,” adding that “the respect for diversity touted by Starbucks ought to include respecting the diverse views of all its customers and employees.”
Jonathan Baker, who heads up NOM’s Corporate Fairness Project, called on Starbucks officials to promise that they would not retaliate against customers, employees, or associates who oppose same-sex marriage. “Increasingly, gay marriage extremists are arguing that people known to oppose same-sex marriage should not be hired, or even, should be fired,” said Baker. “Diversity and tolerance are a two-way street. Having waded into a social issue where Starbucks has no special competence, the company has an obligation to reassure its customers, vendors, and employees that it will respect the most important diversity — diversity of opinion.”
And in a posting on its website, the Family Research Council noted that while Washington State “is still sharply divided over same-sex ‘marriage,’ Starbucks has decided to sweeten the pot for homosexual activists and join the attack on local families.”
Meanwhile, the same-sex marriage bill appears to be on the fast-track to passage. The Associated Press reported that on January 30 the legislature’s House Judiciary Committee had approved its side of the measure, and the full Senate is expected to vote on its companion bill as early as February 1.
“It’s time; it’s the right thing to do,” Gov. Gregoire said recently about passage of the bill. “I say that as a wife, a mother, a student of the law, and, above all, as a Washingtonian with a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom.”
But Republican State Representative Jay Rodne, who is among the legislators opposing legalization of same-sex marriage, called the bill “an act of raw political power to modify the definition of marriage,” adding that “there has been no compelling justification to abandon traditional marriage.”
The National Organization for Marriage said that it will work with pro-family groups in Washington State to launch a referendum campaign aimed at allowing the state’s voters to have the final say on how marriage is defined. “NOM will not stand by and let activist politicians redefine marriage, the bedrock of civilization, without voters having a say,” said Brown. “Just as we mounted a People’s Veto in Maine and were responsible for qualifying Proposition 8 to the ballot in California, we will make sure that voters in Washington have the ability to decide the definition of marriage for themselves.”
If the legislation passes, Washington would be the eighth state to legalize homosexual marriage, with both Maryland and New Jersey next in line to consider their own “gay marriage” bills.
Photo: The Starbucks Center, Seattle, the company's headquarters