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Jul 03 2012

NOM demands businesses stay “neutral” on marriage, then partners with anti-gay business

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?

27 comments

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  1. 1
    Ace of Sevens

    That’s actually way more supportive than the cheap rhetoric I’ve seen from corporate opponents. If Nabisco ran a “BOGO for homos” (or something less offensive, but just as catchy) or something, they might have a point.

  2. 2
    David Shelton

    Fucking hypocrites!

    1. 2.1
      left0ver1under

      David Shelton:

      Typical, predictable, inevitable christian hypocrites!

      FIFY. Hope you don’t mind.

      1. Zinc Avenger

        Thank you for this necessary, thoughtful, and reasoned defense of the word “fucking”, which relates to an activity I very much enjoy.

        Save a fuck, curse accurately today!

        1. left0ver1under

          I was striving for accuracy, not avoiding the word – being prudent, but not prudish. ^_^

  3. 3
    Pierce R. Butler

    … coffee that can be brewed with a clean conscience any time you want at home, at the office or at your church.

    Unless your church is of JC of LDS, right?

  4. 4
    Bushonomics

    I wonder why they didn’t send that letter to Chick-fil-a as well… Oh that’s right, NOM is already taking money from them.

  5. 5
    Alyson Miers

    And now we know not to buy coffee from Jitters & Bliss! Ever. Even after all this is over, and J&B knows better than to send the slightest bit of money to the NOMbags, they will never get our business.

  6. 6
    Kaoru Negisa

    What I’m waiting for is the inevitable NOM whine when people outside of their mailing list hear that Jitters and Bliss is supporting them and stops buying. Pretty often these days, without calling for massive boycott or support efforts, equality supporters simply gravitate toward inclusive companies and away from bigoted ones. So, if this gets out to the wider public, you can bet NOM will start talking about how Jitters and Bliss is being “intimidated” by “pro-gay bullies” and how unfair it is that a company supporting their brand of hatred isn’t embraced.

    You watch. I give it two weeks, enough time for them to realize its not working.

    Then again, I guess this gives them an out with most likely using Microsoft products considering Bill Gates and the company CEO donated $100,000 each to support marriage equality in Washington. Technically, I suppose they’re not “taking a side,” so it’s totes ok to fire this off from Outlook or IE.

  7. 7
    JohnnieB

    I posted a comment on their FB page. They have since deleted that comment, as well as any other comment questioning their homophobic actions, and they have disabled the ability for anyone to leave comments on their FB page. Guess someone couldn’t stand the heat.

    1. 7.1
      Kaoru Negisa

      That is in no way surprising. Their ideology from childhood, be it religious, economic, or social, is entirely dependent on only hearing one side of the argument. They can’t respond to other thoughts without their whole idea of the world falling apart, so they silence instead.

      1. JohnnieB

        They have closed both their Yelp and Facebook pages!

        1. Kaoru Negisa

          So they’re shutting down all of their social media? Yea, this is going to be really good for their business.

  8. 8
    justsomeguy

    This sounds like the same kind of “neutrality” that’s being pushed in schools: acknowledging the existence of homosexuality is the same thing as sexualizing young students in a wholly inappropriate setting (using taxpayer money, even!), but acknowledging the existence of heterosexuality ain’t no thing.

    …and as horrifying a violation of free speech as true neutrality would be, it’d also be hilarious to watch. As soon as people realize the phrase “I have a child” translates to “I have had heterosexual intercourse on at least one occasion,” and that such a statement violates a neutrality policy, the whole thing would be chucked out the window so fast that aw, who am I kidding? They’d just make up some idiotic rule to justify the double-standard. And then STILL try to call it neutral.

    1. 8.1
      ladydreamgirl

      There is a slight flaw in your second paragraph. Having children does not require the parent to have participated in heterosexual intercourse given that artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and adoption are all means by which an individual can become the parent of a child. The assumption that all parent-child relationships trace back to the parent having had heterosexual sex is heterosexist.

  9. 9
    ImaginesABeach

    Quite a few companies in Minnesota have come out against the anit-marriage amendment. General Mills was the most recent. When I shopped at JC Penneys over the weekend, I made a point of telling the cashier that I chose Penneys because they haven’t backed down to the bigots.

    I wonder if there is a good way to point out to General Mills how much supporters of marriage equality spend on their products.

  10. 10
    left0ver1under

    I don’t mean to derail the thread, but do notice the naming and acronyms of some far right wingnut groups are deliberately close to the names of legitimate groups?

    Compare (legitimate group and fraudulent group):

    National Organization for Women (NOW)
    National Organization for Marriage (NOM)

    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)

    I’m almost certain this is done intentionally to confuse people into donating or supporting them by accident.

  11. 11
    Sassafras

    invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside.

    Strange then, that I’ve never heard of the DumpStarbucks campaign or Jitters and Bliss.

  12. 12
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Well, there goes corporate lobbying for just about anything, right out the window. While corporations may benefit greatly from lobbying, the effects on society as a whole are magnitudes greater. Therefore, they have no business doing such, following this line of reasoning. Most of the time, they ain’t respecting my conscience or rights.

  13. 13
    Rob

    Not living in the US – Why would anyone be dumping Starbucks, apart from the insipid coffee?

    1. 13.1
      BrianX

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter. By all indications, the “Dump Starbucks” campaign has had no effect whatsoever.

    2. 13.2
      Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

      The Dump Starbucks campaign is in response to Starbucks’s stand on same-sex marriage equality (they’re fer it.)

      1. Rob

        They’re in favour of same sex marriage equality! Cool. I’ll forgive them their insipid coffee then.

  14. 14
    Buffy

    In typical NOM/RW Christian doublethink, “neutral” means anti-gay. No matter how many times you try to explain to them that anti-gay isn’t neutral, they don’t get it.

  15. 15
    Zinc Avenger

    Just like Mussolini was neutral in the Second World War.

  16. 16
    Otrame

    They really are pathetic.

  17. 17
    Rhianna

    As a Minnesotan I feel I should be disgusted by the actions of the NOM… but really should I expect anything less from an organization that hides behind a thin veil of kindness to preach their hatred. Hopefully my home state will truly stand how I think they will and should and this will be over in November. Them being Hypocrites is no surprise to me but people like you who bring the subject to light do make me smile. Thank you.

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