On 22 March 2013, Howard Schultz, the CEO of coffee chain Starbucks, stood up to an anti-gay investor. Tom Strobhar, head of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization that is against legalizing same-sex marriage, stated at the Starbucks annual general meeting that the company’s support of gay rights might be losing it customers and therefore costing it business. Mr. Schultz replied, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 per cent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.” The audience applauded Mr. Schultz. In March 2013, Starbucks and dozens of other companies recommended that lawmakers in the United States legalize same-sex marriage. These companies believe that doing so will save billions of dollars by allowing the companies to streamline benefits plans.
For Further Information: “Starbucks CEO tells anti-gay investor: ‘sell your shares.’” CBC News. 26 March 2013
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