The decision by Seattle-corporate giant Starbucks to throw their support for gay marriage equality has rallied thousands around the globe this past week to their coffee shops in an effort to make a statement and counter Chic-Fil-A’s recent stand on inequality and bigotry.
It’s Coffee vs. Chicken.
It’s Starbucks vs. Chic-Fil-A.
For me, it’s a done deal. Coffee wins. Starbucks wins. And it is my hope that equality will also claim victory. I could go for years, if not a life-time without a chicken sandwich. But if I can’t get my coffee by Oh-9-hundred, then what’s the point of getting out of bed?
The Seattle Coffee Scene Can Be Used For Positive Change
It’s the latest in consumer wars between ideologies, in which companies are joining a debate that should have long been settled. Yet, beyond the cynical argument that companies can make a quick buck and get free publicity by taking a public stand on contentious issues, still therein lies the company's culture that eventually percolates to the top – you either believe that all men (and women) are created equal or you don’t.
So, here come the questions:
Can buying a chicken sandwich or an Espresso change the social debate? Can it convince one side that they are the wrong side of history? Will it lead to a better understanding of what it is to be an American?
Voting with our pocket book has always had an impact on policy and social change in United States – and Seattle is at the forefront of that change today by pushing back. We’ve seen this before in our bumpy road to equality – from boycotts to sit-ins to fundraising for great causes, where we spend our money does matter.
Amazon.com, another Seattle-based giant, has also thrown their full support behind equality and gay marriage. As the debate heats up, I have a feeling that this is only the beginning of corporate-ideology positioning.
Nevertheless, today, I am proud of my city. We got great companies here. We got great people here too. And you already know just how good the coffee is…