Starbucks is in the spotlight again this holiday season for allegedly promoting homosexuality with its Christmas-themed coffee cups, along with a 30-second holiday advertisement.
Speculation over the cups, which feature two-genderless hands clasped in friendship/affection, began with an article posted to Buzzfeed, which reported that “keen observers speculated on Twitter that the two hands on the upper edge of the cup belong to a same-sex couple” — a theory that seemed to be reenforced by a Starbucks holiday TV spot, which shows two cartoon female characters holding hands and moving in for an intimate kiss.
Of course, when questioned about the intended message, Starbucks spokespersons declined to confirm or deny whether or not the coffee purveyor was putting a “gay” spin on its holiday campaign. That didn't stop both “LGBT” individuals and conservative Christians from taking to social media to speculate, however.
“We're loving @Starbucks' new festive ad with a lesbian couple,” tweeted someone from the British LGBT Awards. Similarly, another pro-homosexual individual named Rufus applauded the “Great new #christmas campaign from @Starbucks featuring #lesbian couple on the Holiday Cu” — to which Starbucks responded with its own glowing tweet: “We're happy you enjoy the new campaign, Rufus!” And another individual named Christian tweeted that “I'm going to be buying tons of Starbucks if indeed their cups are pushing the gay agenda.”
By contrast, one conservative Christian pointed out the biblical admonition against homosexual behavior, tweeting: “The new Starbucks cup has lesbian couple on it. Rom 1:26 'because of this, God gave them over to shameful lust.'”
This isn't the first time Starbucks' coffee cups have generated backlash. In 2015 self-appointed fringe Christian spokesman Joshua Feuerstein brewed up a social media storm when he blasted the company's decision to serve up plain red holiday cups instead of cups with an overtly Christian theme. “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,” Feuerstein challenged on his Facebook feed, which is followed by more than two million fans. In an accompanying Facebook video Feuerstein opined: “I think in the age of political correctness we've become so open-minded our brains have literally fallen out of our head.” He encouraged Christians to start a “hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks” movement on social media and to ask Starbucks baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their names.
In response to reaction over this year's cups and campaign, Starbucks released an official statement explaining that “each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”
Photo: AP Images