Howard Schultz has been openly pro gay civil rights for awhile now, but it came to a head when stockholder Tom Strobhar complained that Starbucks backing a same-sex marriage bill in Washington was hurting their bottom line.
“In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” said Strobher, who is the founder of the anti-abortion, anti-gay Corporate Morality Action Center (CMAC). Howard Schultz fired back and showed rare humility from a Corporation.
“It is not an economic decision,” said Schultz. “The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.” Schultz then released the Kraken, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,”
Damn… I mean seriously that is brash and straightforward. While Chick Fil-A did nothing more than rattle feathers by saying they religiously don’t believe gays deserve civil rights in America and gained some short term revenue increases and political gain, they didn’t truly effect the landscape the way that Howard Schultz did.
Howard Schultz did a rare thing among his CEO peers in high profit companies, he said profits be damned, we embrace diversity. Now don’t think he is against growing profits, but as he cited the return value of Starbucks was high and he said if the 38 percent wasn’t a high enough return, then feel free to buy stock elsewhere. Now conservative groups and commentators are racing to blast Schultz and say that he is alienating those for traditional marriage. These same people praised Chick Fil-A’s CEO for exercising his right to oppose homosexual equality and started telling their own viewers and listeners to go to Chick Fil-A to support freedom of speech and traditional marriage. That disturbed me and proved to me that this wasn’t an off the cuff statement, it was an attempt to grow sales based on fear and bigotry.
Obviously some people will not go to Starbucks because of this and that’s fine, that is the choice of the customer. I personally don’t shop at stores that openly donate money to anti-gay, anti-civil rights groups and that is me exercising my right to determine where I spend my money. The thing I am just getting annoyed with is that anytime someone supports traditional marriage, no matter how harsh or ass backwards the statement, the right wing media defends it to the teeth. Yet the moment a company or politician openly support civil liberties by supporting gay rights (ex: Ohio rep. Portman) they are demonized and called radical. Misquotes dominate the argument and instead of using facts they use slander and yellow journalism.
A caller on a show I heard asked, “What is the argument against gay marriage beyond religious reasons? We don’t live in a theocracy.”
The host argued that it was tradition and we shouldn’t change it… because it is tradition. That is a roundabout answer with no definite answer. He continued that if we change it then we leave it to interpretation in the future, which I am assuming he would use the multiple partners or marrying your dog argument which very few in society would find acceptable at all to go into law. The simple point is that the only real argument against gay marriage and civil rights is a religious one and according to the law we as a country cannot establish a law based on religious values and views (Establishment Clause) which renders things like DOMA completely unconstitutional.
There is a reason so many Republican representatives are coming out in favor of homosexual equality, especially in northern states. It will happen and it will happen soon because the argument that will be used in the Supreme Court that marriage cannot be between same sex couples because they cannot procreate is an argument that has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Would a male and female couple then never be allowed to use condoms or birth control after marriage because they then cannot procreate? That argument is invalid with no legitimate basis other than a religious one. That and marriage has been redefined before as it was in the mid 1900’s when interracial marriage was illegal. It is not illegal anymore, thus a redefinition of marriage from past norms.
It doesn’t matter if you are for or against homosexual rights, but you will need to accept that their right to marriage and right to the benefits of marriage will in fact, happen. You can believe that homosexuality is morally wrong for religious reasons, I have no issue with you believing that, but you cannot legislate that. What if Muslims take over and deem it law that women must wear burkas and cannot drive? What if Jews take over and outlaw pork and bacon? What if atheists took over and outlawed religion? The point is that those who are minorities to society deserve equal rights without persecution regardless of the religious views of people. Gays are equal humans and deserve what any other people deserve. Just deal with reality for once and understand that progress will happen and has happened, within our society.
quotes courtesy of businessinsider