Christian-affiliated Jitters & Bliss coffee recently attempted to profit off of a partnership with the National Organization for Marriage because of the group’s boycott of Starbucks over its support of marriage equality. J&B would offer a special discount to its customers if they used the code word “marriage” and make donations to NOM in exchange for “free” press. J&B’s Facebook page was overwhelmed with negative comments about the partnership as well as countering pro-equality comments, all of which were deleted and the users blocked from the page. Ultimately, the page was removed from public view entirely for several days.
Jitters & Bliss has restored their page, and in comments on the page made clear that its relationship with NOM is officially over after just one week:
USER: is the hate group NOM still associated with this company?
USER: So it’s not true that if I enter the promotional code “marriage,” you’ll give money to them? Like they say right here? http://www.nomblog.com/24761/
J&B: That is correct! Our customers will receive the discount until the end of July, but no money goes to NOM after July 9th. Our true intention is to sell great coffee. Period! Jitters & Bliss remains neutral, respectiving everyone. However, we are a Christian based company who will adhere to Christian business principles. We love everyone. [...]
USER: is there a pro equality code I can use to order coffee from you?
J&B: we are no longer connected to NOM. I do not care for SBucks for many reasons. I took an opportunity to get some of their business. Being inclusive, and loving everyone, yes, I would make another code. Will you use it?
It’s unclear how the company’s claim of being “inclusive” and “loving everyone” jibes with the “Christian business principles” that prompted the company to partner with NOM in the first place. Still, the failed PR plan shows just how toxic NOM’s anti-gay views are and how dismally unsuccessful their boycott strategy is playing out.
(July 16, 2012 – 9:10 AM) It seems Jitters & Bliss has again deleted the comments cited here. Fortunately, ThinkProgress preserved a screenshot of them as they appeared on Friday (see below). The company’s founder, Keith Bliss, instead offered this new comment on Sunday, adding the new claim that his family was “viciously attacked and threatened”:
Jitters & Bliss Coffee respects ALL customers. As the owner of Jitters and Bliss Coffee, I made a decision to offer our coffee as a premium product choice on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) website. During this time my family was viciously attacked and threatened. After a short term promotion with NOM, we are moving forward. As a business based on Christian values, we will continue to provide a quality coffee experience to our customers. We thank everyone who has and continues to support Jitters & Bliss Coffee!
The company has not yet clarified how much money it ultimately donated to NOM during its one-week partnership.