SEATTLE – A giant “Thank You” card representing more than 630,000 people was expected to be delivered to Starbucks headquarters Wednesday for the coffee giant's support of same-sex marriage.
Starbucks announced its support earlier this year for a bill to give gay and lesbian couples the legal right to obtain a marriage license in Washington state. The bill, which does not require churches or religious organizations to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies, was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire. But, it could end up before voters in the form of a referendum and a separate public initiative this November.
The National Organization of Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, launched a “Dump Starbucks” boycott two weeks ago, calling on consumers to stop giving money to the coffee giant. As of Wednesday morning, nearly 26,000 people had pledged to boycott Starbucks, according to dumpstarbucks.com.
Sumofus.org countered with the “Thank Starbucks” campaign. As of Wednesday morning, it claims more than 641,000 people have signed the petition. The card represents signatures from members of SumOfUs.org, MoveOn.org and Washington United for Marriage.
"We hope that this overwhelming show of support for Starbucks for supporting gay rights will inspire other corporations to keep making similar public statements,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, executive director for SumofUs.org.
The card, expected to be delivered at noon, will have over 40,000 signatures, but the coalition was also expected to present petitions with the names of 630,000 people who signed the online card.
In February, Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries also launched his own boycott campaign against Starbucks, claiming the Seattle-based coffee giant could lose 80 percent of its customers if Christians get their coffee somewhere else.
In a recent non-scientific poll on KING5.com, 12 percent of people said they would never buy products again from a company that supported same-sex marriage, while 51 percent said they were more likely to buy products from those companies. Thirty-three percent said it would make no difference in their buying habits.