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Friday, March 22, 2013

After Howard Schultz's Strong Support of Marriage Equality, Are You More Likely to Go to Starbucks?

Posted by on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Hooray for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for taking a strong stand in favor of gay marriage yesterday:

At the company’s annual meeting Wednesday, shareholder Tom Strobhar suggested that the boycott had indeed bled the company of value.

“In the first fill quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earrings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” he said.

CEO Howard Schultz shot back that the decision to back gay marriage was not about the bottom line, but about respecting diversity. He said the company had delivered a healthy return last year, boycott or no.

“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,” he said, to loud applause from the audience.

Schultz didn't have to take a stand against the NOM shill, but he did so forcefully and simply. It was a perfect response, and I think that we'll start to see more CEOs following suit in the months to come. But I have an important question to ask of you:


Comments (23) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
No. I support Starbucks decision, but there's no way I'm going to give them money for that twice-burned sludge they charitably call "coffee."

My coffee is going to come from Milstead & Co or Lighthouse Roasters; not because they're small and independent, but because they take pride in having exclusively high-quality beans, brewed by barristas who know how what they're doing.
Posted by Ruke on March 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
leek 2
I agree. Their earrings ARE disappointing.
Posted by leek on March 22, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 3
Remember when Howard Schultz made a bold stand by selling the Sonics to out of town investors for a quick buck? Yeah, what a guy....
Posted by Gern Blanston on March 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 4
I don't drink coffee, and I'm morally opposed to paying $3 for a teabag and a cup that will become landfill, but on the very rare occasion that I DO go into a starbucks, this does make me feel less guilty about it.
Posted by More, I Say! on March 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Yeah, what 1 said. You forgot the "not until they learn how to roast a goddamn bean" option.
Posted by Levislade on March 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM · Report this
trstr 6
Yay billionaire CEOs!!!
Posted by trstr on March 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Starbucks made 38% last year? Holy shit. This means he's just buying off his workers. Supporting gay marriage goes a long way toward staving off a unionization drive.

The way I see it, your tips to what is essentially the workers of a fast food chain subsidize Starbucks labor costs.
Posted by Why are there cars? on March 22, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 8
I generally make my own coffee at home, because it's better.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on March 22, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Agent Michael Scarn 9
This is basically like asking if I'm more or less likely to support Starbucks because their CEO has never killed somebody, or doesn't beat his kids.

I can't get too excited about giving anyone or anything, particularly a massive, massively profitable business, credit for operating within the bounds of human decency.
Posted by Agent Michael Scarn on March 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 10
Seattle would be better off if Starbucks just packed up and left Seattle for good. Close their shops, and shut down their offices in SODO. GOOD BYE!!!!
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on March 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 11
You don't have to buy their crappy coffee to show support (if you are so inclined). I like their version of the energy drink: "Starbucks Refreshers." It's the only one I've found that doesn't taste like a chemical factory.

They also have a ready-made egg-salad sandwich that's excellent for when I'm looking for a quick lunch. (There are three Starbucks in my office building, so...)
Posted by Free Lunch on March 22, 2013 at 5:54 PM · Report this
bauhaus junkie 12
i don't go to starbucks, but not for any good reason, if i think about it. they treat their employees well for a large corporation, their coffee is servicable, if not actually good, and this certainly is a point in their favor. i'd just rather patronize smaller indie companies and roasters. the atmosphere is better, and the local shops need more support. i like variety. every starbucks is exactly the same, and it's boring. i will (shamefully) admit a small swelling of hometown pride when i saw this. they may be a giant multi-national corporation, but they're OUR giant multi-national corporation, damn it!
Posted by bauhaus junkie on March 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
I'm largely with @ 1. I live far from Denver's good coffee shops, so sometimes I'm forced to patronize the nearby Starbucks, but I'll continue to do that on the as-necessary basis only.

@ 4, you could compost....

@ 9, you need to understand what a big deal it is for a CEO - any CEO - to stand up to a big investor and tell him his investment isn't welcome. This isn't "operating within the bounds of decency" by any stretch. It's a very public, very brave thing to do, and Schultz deserves major accolades for it.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 14
When you're out in the provinces, Starbucks is the only game in town if you want any kind of espresso or wi-fi. In the city -- any real city -- of course, there's no reason to ever go there.

Except the bathrooms: For me what makes Starbucks a great company is their no-questions-asked access to their bathrooms. Though in the end I'm willing to beg the barista for a key at someplace with good coffee.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on March 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM · Report this
despicable me 15
Starbucks is in business to make money. Big surprise.

As a regular customer and stockholder, I'm thrilled with their earnings, their great business plan and their policies. My brother and nephew worked there and they were paid well, had convenient hours and good benefits that were not offered at any other part time job they looked into.

As an LGBT American, I thank Mr. Schultz for his comments and company support.
Posted by despicable me on March 22, 2013 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Fistique 16
I would rather they paid taxes in the countries where they sell coffee.
Posted by Fistique on March 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 17
Where's the "never go to Sbux, but I'd feel less guilty when out of state" option?
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 22, 2013 at 8:33 PM · Report this
chaseacross 18
For all the hand wringing about Starbucks and the fact that they're a giant mega-corp that will probably one day open a kiosk on the International Space Station (and -still- only pay minimum wage), isn't this the way we want such enterprises to be run? And it's hard not to smirk a little at the "Seriously? Bite me." attitude regarding equality. The 21st century must seem like a strange place to the oldsters.

Also, if you've never tried it, the Starbucks pumpkin bread is alright.
Posted by chaseacross on March 23, 2013 at 1:45 AM · Report this
Big Sven 19
Wow, tough crowd. If you don't think it's brave to take even a mildly pro-LGBT position, than you don't know NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, OK, MO, KS, ND, SD, NE, UT, AZ, etc etc etc.
Posted by Big Sven on March 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
julie russell 20
Sure. I hit at least 4 or 5 coffee shops/day. Usually I look for Vita, Zoka or other good coffee & only do SBucks when it's my only option. Proud of their stance. Happy to give em more of my business
Posted by julie russell http:// on March 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 21
I agree with 19, but you forgot MI. They voted to change their constitution in 2004 to ban gay marriage.

I don't think Starbucks has the best coffee, but they are always nice when I go in, and I make it a point to use businesses who have similar moral standards to my own. If we live in a free market where companies have political power, it is my duty to support those with my ideals.
Posted by ScienceNerd on March 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 22
@ 21, I wouldn't condemn any state for how they voted in 2004. That's a measure of how easy it is to amend the constitution in MI, as well as where almost every state in America was standing in 2004. Hell, Colorado did the same in 2006, but just became the 9th state to grant either marriage or civil unions. (And it will be full marriage before the decade's out, mark my words.)

When frigging California can vote against gay marriage as late as 2008, any state, including Washington, could have too, if the bigots had chosen to focus there. It's not a whole lot different than Civil Rights measures failing just a few years before 1964. The tide simply hadn't turned yet.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Soviet-supported Communitarianism (aka, "soft" Communism) relies heavily on the destruction of the family unit, for the purpose of replacing the family with the State. This is necessary for the progression of Communitarianism.

This is why central banker-backed institutions and media, using infinite fiat money created by central banks, are pushing for what is called the "demoralization of society."

Research ex-KGB intelligence and propaganda expert YURI BEZMENOV and his books, for details.
Posted by Siddha on March 24, 2013 at 5:29 AM · Report this

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