Starbucks CEO to investor: If you support traditional marriage, ‘sell your shares’

Starbucks CEO

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz – Photo Credit

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message of his support for gay marriage at the annual shareholders meeting Wednesday in Seattle, telling an investor if he disagrees he should sell his shares and invest in some other company.

The shareholder, Tom Strobhar, founder of Corporate Morality Action Center, complained that Starbucks lost customers because of its support for gay marriage, pointing to “disappointing” earnings in the first full quarter after a boycott last year by the National Organization for Marriage.

Schultz responded that “not every decision is an economic decision,” and pointed to a 38 percent shareholder return over the last year, according to Forbes.

In saying the company wants “to embrace diversity,” Schultz added amid applause:

“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.”

There is some history between the two men, as Strobhar asked Schultz at last year’s shareholders meeting to stop endorsing liberal issues because they were bad for business, as reported by Yahoo.

And while this intolerance for opposing gay marriage was directed at one of its investors, one has to wonder if it also extends to the paying customer?

Starbucks Howards Schultz on gay marriage (Video)

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186 thoughts on “Starbucks CEO to investor: If you support traditional marriage, ‘sell your shares’

  1. august janke says:

    Bob Bubbers? like thats your real name…if you want to argue have a legit screen name or your real name bob. anyways keep trolling bob, people have a right to there opinion just as you do.

  2. Joe Doe says:

    Well, your response doesn't make sense, given Communist governments' historical repression of homosexuality (Cuba, Soviet Union, etc).

  3. danolgb says:

    "We do not need to change into something that has proven to be a mistake." You mean a theocracy?

  4. Mel says:

    It's not a matter of opinion, you have God's word on it. If we do not have a final authority, than who is to say what is right and what is wrong? What if I don't like you and want to kill you, is that ok? Does anyone not think this thing all the way out and realize it only keeps getting worse and worse? Eventually, someone will be saying it's OK to have intercourse with animals. We will eventually just accept EVERYTHING in the name of tolerance. The Bible is God's word, not man's opinion. If you have a problem with what a Christian believes, you don't have a problem with a Christian, you have a problem with God. The inventor of evolution himself admitted he did it because the Bible didn't fit his own sexual mores. "Let God be true but every man a liar" It IS wrong for mankind to lay with mankind. It's not natural, and worse than that, it's a sin of the worst kind.

  5. tim says:


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