Anti-gay evangelical minister David Barton, also known for his revisionist history of the Founding Fathers, lambasted Starbucks for its support of gay marriage. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, for his part, recognized that the company’s support may not be a sound economic decision, but claimed it was the right thing to do. Firms like Starbucks should be applauded for standing up for LGBT rights and recognizing that morality trumps profits.
Barton, a Tea Party favorite, has been regularly featured on Glenn Beck’s TV programs and has campaigned for conservative Republicans like Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee. Some of his more outlandish claims include that the government should regulate homosexuality like a disease and that citizens should have the same guns the military has. His influence extends beyond the fringe of the right and into the mainstream Republican Party. He served as the vice chairman of the Texas GOP and the Bush campaign hired him to do clergy outreach in 2004.
Starbucks' support for same-sex marriage goes back to 2011 when it filed a brief against the Defense of Marriage Act which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. And in 2012, Starbucks and 70 other companies supported a bill in Washington that would legalize same-sex marriage. In a shareholder meeting, Schultz also told off an anti-gay stockholder by saying he was free to sell his stock if he disagreed with Starbucks’ stance.
Quickly after, conservatives launched a campaign to "dump Starbucks." However, the campaign has had seemingly little effect as the company still plans to open 1,500 more cafes in the U.S. over the next five years, proving that the anti-gay movement is a dying cause.