By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com March 23 2012 3:25 PM ET
After the National Organization for Marriage announced this week that it had launched a boycott of gay-friendly Starbucks, the Internet exploded with support for the Seattle-based coffee chain.
The notoriously antigay NOM announced Wednesday that the group was boycotting Starbucks for the company’s support of marriage equality in Washington State. This came after NOM members quizzed Starbucks board members on the company’s marriage stance at a recent shareholder meeting (watch video below). Almost immediately, the topic of Starbucks began trending on social media, with Twitter hashtags supporting Starbucks proliferating — #LatteLove, #StarbucksBrewsLove, #Equaliventi, #LGrandeBTall, and #StarbucksEquality have all circulated.
The consumer advocacy group SumOfUs is asking people to sign a thank-you card to Starbucks for its support of LGBT equality. Over 26,000 people have signed their online card at the group’s website.
“The National Organization of Marriage is targeting Starbucks because the company recently stood up publicly to support gay marriage legislation in their home state of Washington,” reads a release from SumOfUs. “The bill’s sponsor, Democratic senator Ed Murray, explained how support from major brand-name businesses helped convince moderate legislators to vote for it. Without support from prominent companies like Starbucks, the gay marriage law might have failed. Starbucks customers are speaking loud and clear: Being for equality is good for business ... NOM is soon going to have to face the truth that it’s losing the culture war it’s been waging against LGBT people.”
On NOM’s anti-Starbucks website, the group suggests alternative coffee shops for homophobes to patronize. However, many of its suggestions, including the popular West Coast chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, have either voiced support for gay rights or are actually owned by LGBT individuals.