Starbucks Chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, is speaking at a conference hosted at and sponsored by an anti-gay church. This is unacceptable.
The church that is sponsoring the event on August 11th and 12th has a long history anti-gay persecution. For decades the church was a member of Exodus International, the organization that seeks to cure homosexuality through dangerous conversion therapy. The church split ways with the group, but in doing so stated that it wasn’t a change in belief but a change in focus. The church also has their own “outreach” programs to the LGBT community to spread their anti-lgbt message.
Organizations that attempt to cure people of their sexual orientation are dangerous. They are rejected by major medical organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
Starbucks has sought to build an inclusive atmosphere. They have even received 100 scores on the HRC equality index, but earlier this summer there was a dust up when an openly gay employee was the subject of a an anti-gay tirade by a manager and fired in front of customers.
Starbucks should immediately denounce the views of this church, before the CEO speaks at their “leadership” summit.
As a long time customer of Starbucks I have always appreciated the efforts the company has made to be inclusive. However the decision to have Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz speak at Willow Creek Community Church, despite their long anti-gay history, is unacceptable to me.
The church has long practiced dangerous conversion therapy to “cure” people of their sexual orientation. Practices like this have been condemned by the broader medical and psychological community and has no place in society today.
If Starbucks wishes to remain an example of an inclusive company and wants to keep my business, I ask that you, at the very least, issue an immediate statement denouncing the church’s anti-gay practices and beliefs.
Not denouncing these practices is tacit approval.