Starbucks vs. Chick-fil-A: Where Do You Plan to Vote With Your Pocketbook?

marriage equality signLove Starbucks coffee and support marriage equality? Today -- aka National Marriage Equality Day -- is your lucky day, because you can show your support for both by patronizing the coffee chain. Dreamed up by Equally Wed magazine, the event is meant to counter last week's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which urged backers of the "biblical definition of the family unit" to come out in droves and put their money where their "morals" are.

But today, we gay rights activists are encouraged to have our say by patronizing Starbucks -- and various other companies that support same-sex marriage, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon.com, Absolut Vodka, Nike, Apple, Ben & Jerry's, Best Buy, Delta, Disney, Ford, General Mills, Google, J.C. Penney, JPMorgan, Kenneth Cole, Kimberly-Clark, Kimpton Hotels, Levi-Strauss, Macy’s, Marshalls, Microsoft, Sears, Southwest Airlines, Target, Tiffany & Co., and T.J. Maxx. Whew! And wow, how heartening is it that we have so many options?!

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If only because it will make consumers even more informed about their favorite companies' politics, National Marriage Equality Day rocks.

See, that's the thing Chick-fil-A supporters seem to misunderstand. They've been so defensive of president Dan Cathy's views, whining that he has every right to his opinions. This is a free country after all! But that is not what those of us opposed to his views are taking issue with. Of course we acknowledge that he has a right to those views. Of course Chick-fil-A has every right to donate their big bucks to organizations that promote a bigoted, hateful message.

At the same time, consumers have every right to choose or refuse to contribute to that endeavor. We as consumers should be educated about what kind of politics companies we are patronizing support, and we should care. Just like you get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you buy a lipstick that purports to put donate a percentage of the proceeds to breast cancer research, those of us who are fighting for marriage equality will be proud to purchase our coffee from a chain that is promoting our progressive agenda.

The bottom-line is this: We can't sit back and play the "ignorance is bliss" card anymore. Whether you like it or not, every time we patronize a company, we give them free reign to use our dollars toward causes we may or may not support. Whether it's an official "Appreciation Day" or not, we vote with our pocketbooks. How are you going to vote today -- and every day?

Will you patronize one of the companies included in National Marriage Equality Day?


Image via Jennifer Morrow/Flickr

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