Starbucks Awesomely Supports Marriage Equality – Even Though It May Be Affecting Their Bottom Line
I love it when corporate giants fly in the face of everything we have been told to believe about corporate giants. This week, Starbucks CEOÂ Howard Schultz defended the company’s decision to back gay marriage. Starbucks supports marriage equality – and even though boycotts by stupid bigots are affecting their bottom line – the CEO just doesn’t care.
At the company’s annual meeting last Wednesday, one of the shareholders voiced his concern that the controversial stance was costing the company money. NPR reports the shareholder said:Â â€œIn the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earrings â€” shall we say politely â€” were a bit disappointing.â€
Schultz responded to his statement by saying:
â€œIf you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, itâ€™s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.â€
That is great for many obvious reasons. Â I have to admit that one of them is that I can now feel okay about occasionally treating myself to over-priced coffee. I can momentarily ignore the fact that I feel guilty when I stroll into a Starbucks instead of one of the smaller, local coffee shops that have a hard time competing with someone as widely loved and recognizable as Starbucks.
The shareholders voted down a proposal that would prevent the company from making political contributions: “Board members said they wanted the flexibility to promote the companyâ€™s policy agenda.” I think it’s okay when companies make political contributions – as long as they are forthright about those contributions – enabling consumers to make informed decisions about what companies they want to support with their business.
Starbucks isn’t mincing words. They support marriage equality. If you have a problem with that – get your coffee somewhere else.