In case the National Organization for Marriage has not significantly proven its intent to “drive a wedge” between racial groups by “fanning hostility,” its latest action is the most detestable yet. Today, NOM’s Brian Brown announced it will be exporting its Dump Starbucks campaign — a massive failure stateside — to countries that are significantly less supportive of LGBT rights:
BROWN: In our first week, we gained 25,000 pledge signers in the U.S. alone; today we go international, expanding DumpStarbucks.com campaigns into Mandarin, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, and Bahala (one of the chief languages of Indonesia). DumpStarbucks.com online ads will also start running in Egypt, Beijing, Hong Kong, the Yunnan region of China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
What happens in Seattle won’t to stay in Seattle. By making gay marriage core to his brand, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz is telling millions of customers and partners who support traditional marriage in the Middle East, China, South America and North America that they aren’t truly part of the Starbucks community.
As Joe.My.God. notes, NOM is specifically targeting countries that criminalize homosexuality, like Kuwait and Oman, and even some that punish it with the death penalty, like the United Arab Emirates. The Dump Starbucks webpage tells its visitors that the coffee company’s support of marriage equality will “eliminate” the “definition of marriage between one man and one woman.” Sowing such seeds of fear in countries already opposed to homosexuality extends far beyond “fanning hostility” and could foster increased hostilities against people just for the coffee they choose to drink.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry note that the Catholic Church hierarchy and its affiliates like the Knights of Columbus continue to be NOM’s biggest funders. And while millions of dollars are being funneled into race-dividing anti-gay strategies, soup kitchens, shelters, and other advocacy efforts are closing due to lack of funds, in many cases specifically as punishment by the Church for being LGBT-inclusive. In a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Freedom to Marry and HRC implore the Church to immediately stop funding NOM and supporting its “race-baiting, ethnic exploitation, division, and anti-gay campaigns.” With the expansion of the Dump Starbucks campaign, add “propagating violence” to that list.