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Groups to Boycott Starbucks Over Stances on Gay Rights, Guns

Separate boycotts criticize coffee chain's positions on contentious issues.

Groups to Boycott Starbucks Over Stances on Gay Rights, Guns

Some religious and political groups are urging Starbucks customers to grab their morning coffee elsewhere in light of the company's stance on gay marriage and its policy on guns.

USA Christian Ministries, a group boycotting Starbucks for its recent support of gay marriage in the state of Washington, said in a news release that the coffee chain's decision has angered Christians.

"Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God," Steven Andrew, president of USA Christian Ministries, said.

The group hopes that, with full support from Christians, Starbucks, which operates two locations in Plymouth, could lose up to 80 percent of its business.

Starbucks joined Microsoft and Nike in publicly supporting gay marriage in a statement last week, according to the Seattle Times. In its statement, Kalen Holmes, executive vice president for partner resources, said the company embraces diversity and provides an "inclusive, supportive and safe work environment" for its employees.

"This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners," the statement read. "It is core to who we are and what we value as a company."

Plymouth resident Heather Lee said in a Facebook post that, given Starbucks' position on gay marriage, she would frequent the business more.

"Starbucks was once last on my list of coffee places to visit in Plymouth," she said, indicating she often frequented the and . "I'm doing a reverse boycott and plan on frequenting Starbucks more often. I would much rather give my money to companies that support my right to marry."

Rebecca Schmidt said on Facebook that she believes it isn't major corporations' place to make public political statements.

"Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike really have no business taking a stance either way," she wrote. "It is no way relevant to their business."

This isn't the first time the company has made headlines for taking a stance on gay marriage. In 2011, Starbucks was among a group of 70 business and organizations opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, CNN reported.

An unrelated Feb. 14 boycott is planned to protest the company's policy allowing customers with guns to be served.

The National Gun Victims Action Council, an anti-gun group, said in a Jan. 23 news release its goal is to "eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S."

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