Makes me want to go buy more coffee right now!
officially endorsed gay marriage.
Starbucks has long been a gay-friendly company, from the earliest days. The company began offering its benefits to same-sex domestic partnerships 20 years ago, when it was virtually the only company to do so. And now Starbucks has unexpectedly joined ranks with Microsoft in an official corporate letter to all Starbucks partners, explaining that the company is backing "Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples."
Microsoft recently sent the same message. In a post on the official company blog, they pointed out that allowing gay marriage in Washington would put Microsoft on better footing when attracting top talent. In other words, it's not just a human rights issue - it's a business issue, as well.
Of course, a lot of independent coffee houses endorse the legalization of gay marriage. (I should know - I worked for one for several years.) For whatever reason, coffee houses - particularly in Seattle - are a stronghold of liberal politics. But the point here is, even if your favorite local indie coffee house were to send a letter to Washington legislators backing the gay marriage proposal, it just wouldn't have the same impact.
For good or ill, Starbucks is the 500 pound gorilla. (That is, after all, why so many people hate it.) Every company has politics, whether it's Nestle trying to convince women in developing nations to feed their children baby formula instead of breast milk, or BP insisting that spilled oil will just be absorbed by the ocean. There are a lot of reasons to hate a company, and only a few reasons to like one. And if you ask me, Starbucks' open support of the gay marriage legislation is a big reason to like them.
With this kind of muscle, plus the support of Governor Christine Gregoire, it seems almost inevitable that gay marriage will be legalized in Washington. But if you support equal marriage rights, I would urge you not to get complacent. Same-sex marriage legislation has been shot down in other supposedly liberal states at the last minute - look at the horrible Prop 8 debacle in California!
You can send Governor Gregoire a note regarding her support for gay marriage from the official website here. And remember, your voice counts, so use it!