MoveOn.org is currently asking its progressive subscribers to thank Starbucks for its support of gay marriage. It’s asking for people to sign a “giant Thank You card” after Starbucks supported gay marriage legislation in Washington state.
The premises in their argument of support are very entertaining:
Starbucks isn’t perfect—and in the future we’ll probably be asking them to improve their policies on other issues. But it’s a big deal when a giant multinational corporation with no particular connection to the gay community realizes that there are real business benefits—from better employees to happier customers—to standing up for progressive ideals.
MoveOn is asking its subscribers to defend a “corporation with no particular connection to the gay community.” So it would probably be pretty foolish to attack a corporation that openly embraces diversity, right?
In 2010, Democrats and liberal activist groups like MoveOn.org brow-beat Target after it made a $150,000 contribution to a pro-business PAC. In a spectacular non sequitur, they tried to link the necessary profit motive of a business to the social views of the PAC’s primary beneficiary, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. The media bought into it until Target finally issued an apology even though its contribution had NOTHING to do with gay rights! Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote that the donation was “to support economic growth and job creation.” You know, the kind of activity that allows Target to sponsor the Minneapolis Pride Festival and provide jobs AND benefits to LBGT employees. If Target can’t make it in the marketplace, they can’t offer charitable contributions or employment. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
Now, if Starbucks backtracks because of opposition, then it will set the gay rights struggle back to a time when big corporations couldn’t come out and support gay people for fear of public backlash. Even worse, it will embolden anti-gay activists to target other companies that support gay rights, and serve as a lesson to other companies to stay out of the fight for equal rights entirely.
Hey, MoveOn! You attacked a “big corporation” that supports the gay community. If you’re worried about companies staying “out of the fight,” you need to re-evaluate your tactics.
Cross posted at norann.dillon.com