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Yesterday, Concerned Women for America's Communications Strategist Chelsen Vicari published this blog post in which she took Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to task for being "extreme and intolerant" and suggesting that he refuses to serve pro-marriage customers:
"He doesn’t want our business. Schultz statement isn’t tolerant. It is prejudicial and bigoted. So where are the newspaper headlines reading, 'Starbucks CEO Refuses Pro-Marriage Supporters Service,' which is exactly the message his statement conveys?

What’s next, Starbucks? Two separate drinking fountains for liberals and conservatives or 'now hiring' signs reading, 'Heterosexuals Need Not Apply'?"

(presumably Vicari means "pro-straight marriage only supporters," although that would also be factually incorrect)

What has Vicari all upset is an exchange Schultz had last week with a shareholder at the annual Starbucks shareholders meeting in Seattle.  A year prior, Starbucks had announced that it would be supporting Washington's referendum to legalize gay marriage.  That move was followed by a boycott led by the National Organization for Marriage.

The shareholder, Tom Strobhar (not coincidentally the founder of anti gay Corporate Morality Action Center) had this to say:

"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing."

Schultz responded:

"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. 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. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds.

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."

Hear audio of the exchange here.

Schultz's corporate philosophy is clearly to respect all customers, regardless of their sexual orientation.  Here's how Vicari interprets it:

"Schultz sent a clear message that he does not want the business of anyone who believes that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman."

Today Vicari is apparently in Washington, spreading her narrowly focused tolerance as the Supreme Court considers California's Proposition 8:

Let's hope they have plenty of Dunkin Donuts in our nation's capital!

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