Starbucks officially supports gay marriage


Starbucks coffee is not my favorite, to say the least. I actually have trouble drinking their regular roasts… they taste burnt. There, I said it. But something new is brewing at Starbucks; support for marriage equality. I first heard about this from Coffee Loving Skeptic, that has a nice writeup of the situation. I think it’s worth quoting Starbucks’ official statement:

To: U.S. partners

Date: January 24, 2012

Re: A Message from Kalen Holmes: Starbucks Supports Marriage Equality

Dear partners,

Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion.

This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. 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 U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.

For the last 20 years, our benefits program has offered domestic partner benefits in the U.S. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs and alternative health care coverage. All partners (part-time and full-time) in all work locations, whether in a store, a roasting plant or a corporate office, adhere to the same eligibility requirements for health coverage and have access to the same comprehensive health plans.

We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for all of our partners.

We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.


Kalen Holmes executive vice president, Partner Resources

Impressive. That makes me want to buy a Starbucks coffee. (Likely one of their clover coffees that are actually pretty good, if expensive).

Of course, as the saying goes, “If you aren’t pissing someone off, you aren’t doing it right”. Naturally there are a group of bigots who have started a “Dump Starbucks” campaign in the name of, so called, sanctity of marriage.

“We are today announcing a sustained public campaign calling on Starbucks to stop waging war against marriage, and the views of more than half its worldwide customers. Starbucks should be in the business of offering all its diverse customers a great cup of coffee, not taking sides against the views of its customers, vendors, and employees around the world.”

“Waging war”, eh? I find it tiresome that the “go to” rebuttal used when there is a difference of opinion now involves declaring that the other side is waging war. I’m not gay, and marriage is not my cup of tea (coffee?), but one shouldn’t need to belong to a particular demographic to support equality. I find it ridiculous that this is still an issue. I could go on, but it’s already been said by many people. For some very well thought out arguments for marriage equality, try this lecture.

As a counter attack, there is a petition going around to thank Starbucks for making a stand on equality that betters human well-being. You can sign the thank-you card here.