In an exciting development...the Washington State Senate voted on a bill to advance marriage equality by 28 to 21. The next step of the process being a vote in the House and then a stop by Governor Christine Gregoire's desk, who has already indicated that she would sign the bill should it make it to her desk. Prospects are looking good to see Washington as the next state to adopt full marriage equality and that would be a wonderful Valentines Day present for us all. But of course, that means that certain conservatives and fundamentalists are going into crisis mode. Already they are working to collect the 120,000+ signatures they would need to sidestep the legislature and take the matter to a referendum vote. Seriously....it's not even a law yet. Even though everyone seems to be optimistic for it's passage, it still has to clear a whole legislative body first. However that fact hasn't stopped the full on panic that has led opponents moving on a referendum and calling for boycotts on businesses like Starbucks who have publicly voiced their support for marriage equality.
Their Condemnation of companies like Starbucks seems a little hypocritical given their own history of crying foul when ever someone boycotts a business supportive of their position.But, the accusations are flying fast and furious in battleground states like Washington. Beginning the the latest, rather eyeroll inducing, press release from The National Organisation for Marriage who apparently feels that Starbucks should stay out of the fight:
Today, Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), sharply criticized Starbucks' decision to wade into the gay marriage fight in Washington State. That decision comes on top of an earlier decision by Starbucks to ask the Supreme Court to strike down the federal definition of marriage as one man and one woman as well.
"Americans should be able to drink a peaceful cup of coffee without worrying that a portion of the company's profits is going to be used to push gay marriage without a vote from the people," said Brown. "This is a gratuitous leap into a hot button culture war issue; respect for diversity touted by Starbucks ought to include respecting the diverse views of all its customers and employees."
Jonathan Baker, head of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project, called on Starbucks to make it clear they will not discriminate against customers, vendors or employees who oppose same-sex marriage. "Increasingly, gay marriage extremists are arguing that people known to oppose same-sex marriage should not be hired, or even, should be fired. Diversity and tolerance are a two-way street. Having waded into a social issue where Starbucks has no special competence, the company has an obligation to reassure its customers, vendors and employees that it will respect the most important diversity—diversity of opinion," noted Baker.