Starbucks CEO: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business

At the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message to anyone who supports traditional marriage over gay marriage: we don’t want your business. After saying Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” he told a shareholder who supports traditional marriage that he should sell his shares and invest in some other company.

According to a report by Forbes, Schultz seemed a bit intolerant of any Starbucks shareholders who opposed gay marriage for moral or religious reasons. During the meeting, shareholder Tom Strobhar (who founded the Corporate Morality Action Center) pointed out that after the company voiced its support for a referendum backing gay marriage in Washington state, a boycott by traditional marriage supporters caused a drop in sales revenue. Schultz told him “You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company” if he did not agree with the company’s pro-gay marriage stand.

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By cornelilioi Posted in Diverse

2 comments on “Starbucks CEO: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business

  1. Listen, I don’t support gay marriage for one second, but I’m sorry to announce that this article you have posted is completely taken out of context. The issue wasn’t even directly about gay marriage, and the words “If you support Traditional Marriage, we don’t want your business” *never* came out of anybody’s mouth.

    The issue was about profit, and the discussion went like this:

    The National Organization for Marriage launched a boycott against Starbucks last year do to Starbuck’s support of a referendum in Washington backing gay marriage.

    Shareholder: “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing,”

    Schultz (CEO of Starbucks): “Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. 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. Of all kinds. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

    While I absolutely disagree with Schultz’s view on marriage, his response is set in the context of making money:

    (A) Somebody complained that sales took a hit because of the boycott.

    (B) Schultz says the company still made more money than most have in the last 12 months.

    (C) Schultz says that if somebody is unhappy with the returns, they’re welcome to sell their shares and invest elsewhere.

    As you can see, there is not *one* place where Starbucks tells supporters of traditional marriage that their business is not wanted. In fact, the conversation had little if anything to do with gay marriage except for the fact that Howard Schultz reaffirmed that he supports it.

    If we as Christians have something to say, especially in the public forum, then we need to make sure that we have researched and are correctly representing the view which we are condemning. Constructing arguments based on what one thinks someone else said may indeed spread like wildfire through our communities and make us feel like we have accomplished something meaningful, but in the end it is just hot air based on a lie. This is part of the reason why Christians aren’t taken seriously in the public forum. Slander about anyone, whether you agree with them or not, is forbidden by Scripture.

    • Michael, in some part you are right but not completely. First of all, this article was not written by me, and second one, this is not public forum. I just re-posted the article; I DON’T ADD even ONE word, a posted the original source, I don’t say nowhere I agree or I don’t agree with the article, I don’t condemn nobody and I don’t slandered anyone.

      Also, what you think if i will “judge” you based only on this comment? In more then 13 months of blogging, on 542 post YOU NEVER reply with one like or comment and all of the sudden you just jump on this topic…you make me think I “touch” some sensible button on your mind or conscience….you see how easy is to be misunderstood????

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