Starbucks has openly endorsed Governor Chris Gregoire in her fight to legalize gay marriage. In good company with big businesses such as Microsoft and Nike, Starbucks released a statement on January 25, 2012 explaining their support for same-sex marriage legalization in the state of Washington. Earlier in January, Gregroire had announced her plans to make the bill happen this year while she is still in office. News of this step has stirred commotion across the country, including in the New Jersey where the fight for gay marriage is alive and well. Based in Seattle, Washington, the Starbucks leaders released a public statement, detailing their motivation for the open endorsement of Governor Gregroire’s decision.
In the public statement, Executive Vice President of Starbucks, Karen Holmes stated:
To: U.S. partners
Date: January 24, 2012
Re: A Message from Kalen Holmes: Starbucks Supports Marriage Equality
Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion.
This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.
For the last 20 years, our benefits program has offered domestic partner benefits in the U.S. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs and alternative health care coverage. All partners (part-time and full-time) in all work locations, whether in a store, a roasting plant or a corporate office, adhere to the same eligibility requirements for health coverage and have access to the same comprehensive health plans.
We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for all of our partners.
We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.
executive vice president, Partner Resources
Gay Marriage: Washington State may follow New York
Sources: Seattle Times, Global Post
Recognizing the need for employees to feel secure in terms of insurance needs, medical needs, financial planning, etc. it appears Starbucks will help push the bill for legalized gay marriage in Washington State. Already having spoken up against DOMA in 2011, Starbucks looks like big proponent in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage for gay and lesbian couples throughout the United States. What role do you think a large company such as Starbucks will play in getting gay marriage recognized throughout the US? Have thoughts on this article you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or connect via Twitter, Facebook, or Belky’s Blog!