Starbucks CEO to Shareholder: If You Support Biblical Marriage, Sell Your Shares

Seattle, Washington — At the annual Starbucks shareholder’s meeting this past Wednesday in Seattle, company officials told those who support Biblical marriage that they “can sell [their] shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company.”

According to reports, during the meeting, the founder of Corporate Morality Action Center expressed concerns over the company’s support of homosexual marriage. Tom Stobhar from the organization cited that the company’s stance affected shareholder earnings after Starbucks backed efforts to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Washington state last year. The company’s announcement had resulted in boycotts against the coffee king.

“In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and earnings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” shareholder Tom Strobhar stated.

“Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year,” responded Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months.”

“Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people,” he continued. “We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity — of all kinds.”

The response drew both applause and cheers.

Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz

Schultz then concluded by saying, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

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While some shareholders appear to be doing just that, a number of Starbucks customers have also refused to frequent the franchise as long as it remains opposed to Biblical marriage. One website,, launched a nationwide campaign to urge coffee lovers to go elsewhere for a cup of joe.

“We are urging customers across the globe to ‘Dump Starbucks’ because it has taken a corporate-wide position that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become equally ‘normal,'” the effort’s website outlines. “As such, Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers, and the vast majority of its international customers.”

As of press time, there were over 49,000 signatures on the campaign’s petition against the company.

“Starbucks is using its resources to invalidate traditional marriage in the US and redefine the institution of marriage despite the strongly held views of so many of its customers, including me,” the petition outlines. “Therefore, I will no longer purchase anything from Starbucks until you change your corporate values to be more reflective of my own.”

“Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples,” Starbucks outlined in a written statement last year when it announced its support for Washington’s push to legalize homosexual “marriage.” “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.”

Starbucks was also among the over 300 U.S. corporations that signed onto a recent Supreme Court brief in an effort to overturn the nation’s Defense of Marriage Act. 

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  • Richard

    It’s time to protest against Starbuck’s management. Let’s let them know that we do not agree with their agenda! Everyone switch to another coffee vendor for two months or until Starbucks yields! No mercy, no business!

    • Dale

      Actually I think with that me and my 100 plus group members will be giving Starbucks are money because unlike you we have read the bible and find no morality in selling our daughters or buy foreign people as slaves which the bible supports and if you want to use the bible as a shield for your fear and hate then you must agree with it everything in it.

  • victor

    Buy put options, cause this tells me that they will go down. overpriced anyway. Arrogant CEO is like the capitan of new Titanic.

  • Linda

    Not only do they speak out against Christian marriage, they support Planned Parenthood!

    • Dale

      hate to tell you this but your religion is not the only one with marriages. as for planned parenthood do you have a clue of what they do ?? Yes they help people find an abortion doctor but more importantly they help family’s plan so that they can support their children. They help women with birth control and getting health checkups they provide education on sex and stds and so on.

      • michael

        one of the few sane and well informed comments in here. Thank you for so much, including your brain that you are using.

  • BeBe Ivy

    To Michael Begley…I see You signed Your name as “Idiots” and I would certainly not call You that. I believe You just misunderstood the verses You were referring to.

    First of all if You are quoting God, be sure it is His commandments. When the writers of the OT did not put His Words in red, I’ll never know. As I’m sure You are aware, most of the stories in the Bible are the mistakes people have made and God wants us to know and not follow the same way. That is true with Lot, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David and the list goes on.

    However, when these men repented and decided to live righteously with great faith in God, God forgave them for their sins. Remember, God created everyone with a free will to choose. It was always their wrong choices that got them in trouble. All thru the Bible God has given us all a chance to repent from our wicked ways and follow Him.

    Even when mankind wanted things that God knew was not good for them, God did not stop them from choosing those things, but He did put stipulations on them. God allowed man to find out for himself they were wrong choices and when they repented and followed Him, He forgave them.

    We must remember that God’s timetable is not endless. There will come a time when His timetable runs out of time. Remember the flood? God gave that generation 120 years to repent, they didn’t, therefore they were destroyed in the flood.

    I noticed on Your second #9 You stated it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible “Don’t marry people of the same sex.” You are correct, it doesn’t say marry, but God, Himself spoke these words to Moses: “You shall not lie with male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22). I hope You will read this chapter and see what God has done to the nations that have practiced these abominable customs. God warned His people again in chapter 20:13. Even if you disregard the Old Testament, you can find the same message in the New Testament; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:26-32 and Revelation 21:8.

    Please, please, don’t disregard God’s Holy Word. It is a Love Story from God to you, me and everybody else that has ever lived on this earth. He loves us that much that He sent us His Word to read and obey and He sent us His Son to die in our place, so we wouldn’t have to. On top of all that, as if that isn’t enough, He has sent His Holy Spirit to guide us and for us to lean on and learn from, ’cause God knows how hard it is down here on this sinful earth.

    • Jim Willis

      Excellent, BeBe! Great response!

    • Dave

      While this is a modern interpretation of the existing Bible, God never said anything to Moses in English. The modern text (and going back to the King James version are merely re-translations of various books written by a number of authors in several different ancient languages. The meaning of words varies over time. The Aramaic word translated in Leviticus 18:22 was normally used to refer to prostitutes at a temple. The verse would translate as “You must not lay with a male prostitute at the temple as you do with a woman”. While this is the most often quoted questionable translation from Aramaic, Greek, and Roman texts, there are many, many more such examples.

      The Old Testament was a collection of stories or fables that instructed Jews on behavior. It also incorporated historical facts about wars and families, but many of those are also questionable in current translations.

      The New Testament is the ONLY testament that Christians should be concerned with. It is a story of sacrifice and love. There was no room for hate from Jesus, except for those that would distort His message.

      Romans 2:1 should be a guide here – though I’ll admit that Paul’s letters may also have been mis-translated over time.

    • Dale

      really so how many sins have you committed according to the Levic

      Here’s chapter and verse on a more-or-less comprehensive list of things banned in the Leviticus book of the bible. A decent number of them are punishable by death.

      Unless you’ve never done any of them (and 54 to 56 are particularly tricky), perhaps it’s time to lay off quoting 18:22 for a while?

      1. Burning any yeast or honey in offerings to God (2:11)

      2. Failing to include salt in offerings to God (2:13)

      3. Eating fat (3:17)

      4. Eating blood (3:17)

      5. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve witnessed (5:1)

      6. Failing to testify against any wrongdoing you’ve been told about (5:1)

      7. Touching an unclean animal (5:2)

      8. Carelessly making an oath (5:4)

      9. Deceiving a neighbour about something trusted to them (6:2)

      10. Finding lost property and lying about it (6:3)

      11. Bringing unauthorised fire before God (10:1)

      12. Letting your hair become unkempt (10:6)

      13. Tearing your clothes (10:6)

      14. Drinking alcohol in holy places (bit of a problem for Catholics, this ‘un) (10:9)

      15. Eating an animal which doesn’t both chew cud and has a divided hoof (cf: camel, rabbit, pig) (11:4-7)

      16. Touching the carcass of any of the above (problems here for rugby) (11:8)

      17. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any seafood without fins or scales (11:10-12)

      18. Eating – or touching the carcass of – eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (11:13-19)

      19. Eating – or touching the carcass of – flying insects with four legs, unless those legs are jointed (11:20-22)

      20. Eating any animal which walks on all four and has paws (good news for cats) (11:27)

      21. Eating – or touching the carcass of – the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon (11:29)

      22. Eating – or touching the carcass of – any creature which crawls on many legs, or its belly (11:41-42)

      23. Going to church within 33 days after giving birth to a boy (12:4)

      24. Going to church within 66 days after giving birth to a girl (12:5)

      25. Having sex with your mother (18:7)

      26. Having sex with your father’s wife (18:8)

      27. Having sex with your sister (18:9)

      28. Having sex with your granddaughter (18:10)

      29. Having sex with your half-sister (18:11)

      30. Having sex with your biological aunt (18:12-13)

      31. Having sex with your uncle’s wife (18:14)

      32. Having sex with your daughter-in-law (18:15)

      33. Having sex with your sister-in-law (18:16)

      34. Having sex with a woman and also having sex with her daughter or granddaughter (bad news for Alan Clark) (18:17)

      35. Marrying your wife’s sister while your wife still lives (18:18)

      36. Having sex with a woman during her period (18:19)

      37. Having sex with your neighbour’s wife (18:20)

      38. Giving your children to be sacrificed to Molek (18:21)

      39. Having sex with a man “as one does with a woman” (18:22)

      40. Having sex with an animal (18:23)

      41. Making idols or “metal gods” (19:4)

      42. Reaping to the very edges of a field (19:9)

      43. Picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard (19:10)

      44. Stealing (19:11)

      45. Lying (19:11)

      46. Swearing falsely on God’s name (19:12)

      47. Defrauding your neighbour (19:13)

      48. Holding back the wages of an employee overnight (not well observed these days) (19:13)

      49. Cursing the deaf or abusing the blind (19:14)

      50. Perverting justice, showing partiality to either the poor or the rich (19:15)

      51. Spreading slander (19:16)

      52. Doing anything to endanger a neighbour’s life (19:16)

      53. Seeking revenge or bearing a grudge (19:18)

      54. Mixing fabrics in clothing (19:19)

      55. Cross-breeding animals (19:19)

      56. Planting different seeds in the same field (19:19)

      57. Sleeping with another man’s slave (19:20)

      58. Eating fruit from a tree within four years of planting it (19:23)

      59. Practising divination or seeking omens (tut, tut astrology) (19:26)

      60. Trimming your beard (19:27)

      61. Cutting your hair at the sides (19:27)

      62. Getting tattoos (19:28)

      63. Making your daughter prostitute herself (19:29)

      64. Turning to mediums or spiritualists (19:31)

      65. Not standing in the presence of the elderly (19:32)

      66. Mistreating foreigners – “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born” (19:33-34)

      67. Using dishonest weights and scales (19:35-36)

      68. Cursing your father or mother (punishable by death) (20:9)

      69. Marrying a prostitute, divorcee or widow if you are a priest (21:7,13)

      70. Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11)

      71. Slaughtering a cow/sheep and its young on the same day (22:28)

      72. Working on the Sabbath (23:3)

      73. Blasphemy (punishable by stoning to death) (24:14)

      74. Inflicting an injury; killing someone else’s animal; killing a person must be punished in kind (24:17-22)

      75. Selling land permanently (25:23)

      76. Selling an Israelite as a slave (foreigners are fine) (25:42)

    • michael

      the only problem with your quotes and interpretations of leviticus code, is that you are pulling one interpretation out, and you are missing the many, many others… I don’t know if you’re a woman or not, but let’s start with that, because under Levitical codes, you are now as a woman, an abomination and are defiled, to be being stoned to death. We can take it on down the pathway… I have read and studied and been through 50+ years of biblical studies, both in church and in University, both in Baptist, Episcopal, Catholic, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, informally, the Mormon Church), lived in the Middle East during military service 50 years ago (read Torah and Quran many times… both differences and similarities), Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Church of Christ, where do I stop in my humble praise of God.

  • Lee T
    • Dale

      live and let live I have a short time here alive Id rather not waste it hating people or trying to deny people there happiness. Instead Id rather spend it helping others and protecting others

  • http://facebook Kenneth Howard

    In Hell there will be plenty of Coffee drinkers. not a one of them will be saying “Give me another cup of coffee.” they will be praying God will you forgive me for disobeying your written word. Please forgive me of all my sins. I want to confess to you I was wrong and I now love you. Will you forgive me now I will confess you were right. Please forgive me. Helppppp meeeee pleaseee. Eternal torment will be forever and forever and forever without end. Are you sure you want to dishonor God’s word and mock his goodness.Be sure and your sins will find you out. whatsoever you sow you shall reap.

    • Dale

      only god judges you should be careful about who you thinks goes to hell or you may find your self in there place.

      Act as jesus would the man who offered bread to others who helped strangers who never sought to send others to hell

  • Donald

    I don’t drink coffee, but if I did I would drink Starbutts. Apparently their CEO didn’t learn any lessons from the recent flak about A&E with Phil Roberston. It’s time to stand up America. I think an all out boycott on Starbutts is the only way to make some of these idiots to understand we don’t accept their beliefs. If I owned stock in Starbutts I would definetly sell it, because its value is about to drop.

    • Dale

      We will stand for ours and I hate to tell you this but your fear that makes you act like a cornered raccoon will only lead to your beliefs being looked upon the same way the Nazis are now.

  • Marilyn

    BeBe Ivy,

    I completely agree with you. I really enjoyed reading it & I like the way you answered.

    GOD bless you and yours!

  • Not a religious moron.

    “I hope You will read this chapter and see what God has done to the nations that have practiced these abominable customs.”

    You do realize that the parts of America and other European countries where gay marriage is legal are doing exceedingly well and have lower divorce and abortion rates per capita.

    But hey, I’m sure America would be better if treated homosexuality like they do in Russia, Iran and sub-Saharan Africa. Yeah, those are the places we should try to be more like.

  • Jim

    If conservatives tolerated gay marriage and liberals tolerated gun rights, the country would be a better place…

  • Penny

    My not shopping ever at Starbucks has nothing to do with any of their or any one else’s beliefs….I don’t shop there because it is the nastiest tasting coffee I have ever had and I refuse to pay exhorbitant prices for horrible coffee.

  • Kristin D.

    The bible also has many passages condoning slavery. Therefore, it makes it completely irrelevant because otherwise we would still be in a pre-civil war social era. You can’t pick and choose which of the teachings you believe in the bible… then not award others that same right. Also, you think God is judging me for who I love.. and all the while, you think he isnt judging any of you for hating people you’ve never even met? Get real. I had the chance to work for Starbucks and it was a great experience.

  • jack

    Psalm 2
    (1)Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
    (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
    (3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
    (4) He that sitts in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
    (5) Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

  • Sue McMahon

    Congratulations on the results of your boycott! SBUX stock price has risen from $52 to $77 during your crusade. You’re absolutely right, it’s about the economics and clearly Howard Schultz did the right thing from both an ethical and business perspective.

  • Ben Huffman

    Good for Starbucks and Howard Shultz. It’s great to see a company take such a strong stand for equality.

  • James Fenter

    The Founding Fathers went to great lengths to ensure that the United States of America would NEVER have an official religion. Christianity is just one religion among many. And further, most of the time when a “Christian” is describing himself as such, he means only his particular denomination (Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal…etc).

    For those of you who didn’t pay attention in sixth grade government class, YOUR particular set of religious values have meaning to YOU and only you. You don’t get to force them on other people. If you don’t like same-sex marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. But the fact that someone else may do that has ABSOLUTELY no impact on your life, unless you start obsessing about what somebody else decides to do with their own life.

    And if you’re going to be that much of a busybody, all upset and unable to enjoy life because someone else is enjoying theirs, then I don’t know what to tell you. Perhaps you should go see a therapist, because it certainly sounds like a mental disorder.

  • Russell Byrd

    I find it extremely amusing that some “Christians” think they can get away with accusing a company of intolerance against them for their intolerance.

    If you really support biblical marriage I hope you are ok with your husband having 200 concubines

  • Rosalind Kalmans

    That is why church and state are separate. I support Starbucks stand and will continue being a customer, I do not support Chick F-la’s stand on choice but will continue being a customer. It is my choice to make these decisions.

  • Dave

    This is free enterprise, and free speech at work. Like the guy said, the management have returned excellent profits for shareholders – that’s free enterprise. Saying he wants to support all staff and advocating for a position is free speech, protected under the constitution – the company is entitled to do that. 49,000 worldwide boycotting anything won’t make any difference, but that is THEIR free speech right, so more power to them. Starbucks has millions of customers in their stores every day, so I don’t think they will notice.

    As to opposing biblical marriage – no, they do not; in fact, they are very supportive of biblical marriage. They also support reforms in civil law for same-sex couples. That is NOT interferring in any way with biblical marriage, which by definition (being biblical) is a construct just of the Christian faith – and companies should not pick which religions to support.

  • Loreen Nettles

    Ummmm… This country believes in biblical values! That is
    The foundation of this country… And the bible says no homosexuality.
    Therefore if you don’t like that you are more than welcomed to move!!
    Just because you don’t care what God thinks about doesn’t mean I have
    To support your sin! I love you and the Lord loves you more ,sincerely. But….. sorry… No can do!!!