SEATTLE – A new international Starbucks boycott campaign is under way over the company’s support of legalizing same sex marriage.
The National Organization for Marriage has launched the website dumpstarbucks.com, where people can sign a petition against the company or learn how to contact Starbucks directly.
"Starbucks has taken a corporate position in support of redefining marriage for all of society. We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens,” said NOM president Brian Brown in a press release.
As of Friday morning, at least 6,000 people had pledged to support the boycott, according to the website.
Starbucks publicly supported a gay marriage bill passed by the Washington state Legislature this year. In a January letter to its employees, Starbucks wrote, “This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company.”
“Corporations should not take sides in a culture war that pits a company against half the American people, and nearly all its consumers in some international markets,” Brown responded.
The bill was passed by the Legislature last month, but could end up before voters in November in the form of a referendum and a separate public initiative.
NOM said it also plans to launch an advertising campaign in 55 countries, including the United States, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
"In many areas of the world where Starbucks does business, the concept of 'gay marriage' is unheard of and deeply offensive to cultural, moral and religious values,” NOM writes in a post on the dumpstarbucks website.
Last month, Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries 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 non-scientific poll on KING5.com last month, 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.