Starbucks vs. Chick-fil-A

Two CEOs, two opposing positions on same-sex “marriage,” two similar results? I doubt it.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind CV readers of the Chick-fil-A controversy. Just the fact that it has the label “controversy” tells you something.

mug by trekkyandyAt a Starbuck’s annual shareholders meeting on March 20th, CEO Howard Schultz responded to shareholder Thomas Strobahr, founder of the Corporate Morality Action Center, who brought up Starbuck’s support for Washington’s gay “marriage” referendum and said “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing.” Schultz expanded the data range and argued that Starbucks “did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year.” Perhaps you could score one for Schultz, though statisticians may quibble.

Later, Schultz defended the company’s support of the referendum thusly:

“We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.”

At that point the audience interrupted in cheers and applause. Then Schultz concluded, “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.” More cheers.

So Schultz embraces diversity, of all kinds, except those who support natural marriage?

We shall see if bigoted Christian mayors throughout the U.S. threaten to keep Starbucks from opening in their towns. We shall see if the walls of Starbucks are tagged with anti-gay slurs. We shall see if the Starbucks CEO telling supporters of natural marriage to go elsewhere even makes mainstream news.

And no, I’m not just writing this because I dislike coffee.


Categories:Culture Marriage Politics

  • Tim Shaughnessy

    @Leslie & Sean’s last point: gay couples cannot marry each other because the definition of marriage implies an opposite-sex couple.
    @Sean: I’m a blogger at CatholicVote, so you can probably accurately assume my stance. However, that is somewhat immaterial to my point in this post, which is to point out what will likely be a very different public reaction to two quite similar situations: heads of well-known companies making public statements about their opinions on this issue.
    @Christin: I never said that Schultz said “We don’t want your business;” in fact, I used his own words which I agree means something a little different. I’m not sure where I was acting unfairly when I cited direct quotations from both Strobhar and Schultz.
    @Colleen: Sure, natural marriage isn’t a diversity because it has a clear definition. I honestly don’t know where you are going with that point. I’m sorry if you feel I am being inflammatory, but I merely presented facts of what happened during the Chick-fil-A situation and wondered whether we would see the same thing with Starbucks.

  • Colleen

    Natural marriage is not “a diversity”. You cannot embrace the norm as a diversity. Your last paragraph is just imflammatory emotion.

  • Christin RN

    Hi…fan of CV, but I had to delete the Starbuck’s story from my facebook after reading this…
    …you should too, asap. We can’t stoop to the world’s levels. They do enough for us to disclose, we don’t have to embellish. We are assurred of Victory if we act fairly. Thanks for your work! God Bless!

  • John Hoorman

    Marriage should be between one man and one women. Children need both father and mother.

  • Sean Argir

    Hold on a minute. The way the article is written, it is hard to tell if you are for or against Starbucks view on gay-marriage!

    Anyways….you wrote the question “So Schultz embraces diversity, of all kinds, except those who support natural marriage?”

    With that question…how can you state that he might not embrace natural marriage. If gays are allowed to marry….I would presume that straights would still be allowed to marry as they have always been allowed to!

  • Leslie T

    I think people in Washington state can still support natural marriage even though gay couples can now marry.



Receive our updates via email.