Last month, the National Organization for Marriage sent a letter to some of the largest corporations in Minnesota, demanding that they not oppose the state’s proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage:
As a cultural matter that has little to do with your corporate mission to serve customers, earn profits, and provide good jobs for the people of Minnesota we would request that _____ adopt a neutral stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. We do not request that you endorse our efforts to protect the age-old definition of what is a marriage, but only that you stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue. [...]
Wading into a culture war over an issue where _____ has no business interest is to invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside.
And just to prove how important corporate neutrality is to them, NOM themselves have now partnered with a coffee company to raise money for fighting gay marriage:
This week we are proud to roll out Jitters and Bliss Coffee as a provider of excellent coffee that can be brewed with a clean conscience any time you want at home, at the office or at your church. [...]
During the month of July Jitters and Bliss is offering a 5% discount to every customer who enters the promotional code “marriage”. A small portion of each purchase made also goes to support the National Organization for Marriage as we work to educate people and corporations on the importance of marriage to our society.
Wow, it’s almost as though Jitters and Bliss has failed to “stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of their customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue” by “wading into a culture war over an issue where they have no business interest”. But not to worry – NOM assures us this still somehow constitutes neutrality:
Jitters and Bliss has not, as a corporation, taken a position in the debate over marriage. Just like every company, they have customers, employees, and vendors who hold personal views on what marriage ought to be. They are committed to honoring those views by maintaining a neutral corporate position on marriage.
There you have it: giving a portion of your proceeds to the National Organization for Marriage is ” a neutral corporate position on marriage”. Now that they’ve established this precedent, I fully expect that they will never object to any business that supports the HRC, Lambda Legal, or any other group working for marriage equality. That sounds realistic, right?