Social Issues from The Year in Starbucks Slideshow

The Year in Starbucks Slideshow

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Social Issues

First, Starbucks issued a game-changer for corporations: Starbucks showed its support for marriage equality and the marriage equality bill in its home state, Washington. In an email, vice president of Partner Resources Kalen Holmes wrote, "Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples… We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive, and safe work environment for all of our partners. We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law." In response to Starbucks’ support, the LBGT community organized the Starbucks Appreciation Day for Marriage Equality. As people lined up at Chick-fil-A to support its stance against gay marriage, supporters of marriage equality lined up at Starbucks in August. "Let's affirm a business that operates on moral principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for human dignity and upstanding values, the same that we advocate by simply showing up, drinking and eating at Starbucks," wrote Kristin Palladino, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Equally Wed, an online "LGBT wedding magazine." "This grassroots effort is quite simply full of love and appreciation for a company that stands up for us, for what is right, for what is just." The religious right wasn’t so thrilled with Starbucks, and planned to rile up Middle Eastern residents — where new locations of Starbucks are opening — to get them to protest against its stance on marriage equality. Still, after Washington’s same-sex marriage bill passed in November, it’s clear Starbucks came down on the side of its hometown residents. (Another issue Starbucks found itself in the middle of? Gun control.)