Equally Wed, a lesbian and gay wedding magazine, wants gay marriage advocates to buy as many frappuccinos as their insulin levels can handle on Tuesday in honor of National Marriage Equality Day, aka The Event Formerly Known As Starbucks Appreciation Day.
The event is supposed to counteract last week's soul crushing Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which helped the company set a single-day sales record and reminded us that an overwhelming amount of Americans are the worst people ever. Equally Wed EIC Kirsten Palladino wrote in The Huffington Post that she chose Starbucks as the setting for the counter-event because it's "a brick-and-mortar company available to people with strong moral values across the nation." She took a page from Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day organizer Mike Huckabee and "wrote a little letter like Mr. Huckabee did, but instead of proposing the support of a restaurant that works toward equality only for the ones their president deems worthy based on his interpretation of the Bible, I think we should make a unified stand at Starbucks."
But why Starbucks? Just because the company voiced support for same-sex marriage during Washington's marriage equality campaign last March? (That's Palladino's singular example of the way Starbucks "treats customers and employees with respect and dignity" in her piece.) That's great, but it's a little weird that one positive statement would be enough of an impetus to push tens of thousands of people (over 28,000 have RSVPed on Facebook) to buy burnt-tasting coffee in hopes it would affect Chick-fil-A — or help foster support for same-sex marriage — in the slightest.
First of all, Starbucks' revenue has nothing to do with Chick-fil-A, as they aren't exactly competing companies — unless, unbeknownst to me, Starbucks has started selling chicken sandwiches. More importantly, Starbucks won't be donating any of the proceeds from their sales tomorrow to LGBTQ organizations or same-sex marriage advocacy campaigns. (Chick-fil-A didn't, either, but we know its CEO regularly donates millions of dollars to anti gay rights organizations.) So why should Starbucks get so much credit?
To be fair, even Starbucks doesn't want all the credit. Apparently, the company contacted Palladino and asked her to post this update on the Facebook page:
UPDATE: *Starbucks did not organize this event. But we have had direct communication with execs at corporate who expressed that the company wants other equality-minded companies such as Amazon.com and Nike to share in the appreciation and consumer support.*
Maybe Palladino should have actually reached out to Starbucks before sending tens of thousands of people their way to take a political stand. Or maybe we should stop fighting over sandwiches and coffee beans and donate directly to organizations like the HRC that actually stand for something other than overpriced coffee.