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Starbucks Coffee Cups 'Too Gay'

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Starbucks Coffee Cups 'Too Gay'

by Beth Shapiro 365Gay.com New York Bureau

Posted: September 20, 2005 11:00 am ET

(New York City) Conservative Christian groups are accusing Starbucks of "promoting the homosexual agenda" with its coffee cups that feature the words of notable Americans.

The Seattle-based coffee company launched its "The Way I See It" promotion earlier this year, and one of the phrases being used is from Armistead Maupin.

Maupin, whose "Tales of the City" chronicled gay life in San Francisco's homosexual in the 1970s and 1980s, is quoted on the cups as saying "I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

This week Baylor University ordered the campus Starbucks outlet to pull the cup campaign, even though the Maupin quote was just one of about 100.

Dining contractor Aramark which has the Starbucks franchise on the campus said it was told by Baylor that the quote was inappropriate at a Baptist University.

But, a university spokesperson said he believes the decision was ultimately made by Aramark.

"My understanding is it was a decision made by Baylor dining services staff, and I've not yet been able to trace it back to any Baylor administrators telling them point-blank to pull the cup," Baylor spokesman Larry Brumley told the Associated Press.

"I think they were trying to be sensitive. Obviously, Baylor is a Baptist-affiliated institution, and Baptists as a denomination have been pretty outspoken on the record about the denomination's views about the homosexual lifestyle."

Earlier this year Baylor won a lawsuit against a gay student it had forced to leave the college. (story)

Concerned Women for America, which has a long history of fighting LGBT civil rights has been leading the attack on Starbucks.

While the group is not calling for a boycott, it has been outspoken in its condemnation of the coffee company.

“It’s not enough not to go to Starbucks anymore,” said Robert Knight, director of CWA’s Culture & Family Institute.

“You really need to visit your neighborhood Starbucks and ask to see the manager and just say, ‘You know, I’ve gone here a lot and I would love to go here but I have to tell you your company’s promotion of something that is against my values prevents me from having coffee here anymore, and I’ve found alternatives ... You make a great product, but you deserve to know why people aren’t buying your product anymore.’

The attack on Starbucks is one of numerous attempts by conservative groups to silence companies from supporting the LGBT community.

Fundamentalist groups have targeted sponsors of next year's Gay Games as well.

The American Family Association in May began a campaign against Kraft Foods for its sponsorship of the Gay Games, but stopped just short of advocating a boycott. (story) A month later, Evangelist Jerry Falwell called for a full boycott. (story)

The AFA also targeted Harris Bank for contributing $25,000 to the event.

The group also tried a boycott against Ford Motor Company for running ads aimed at gays, but later withdrew it. (story)

Last year conservative Christian groups boycotted Proctor & Gamble over its support for the repeal of an anti-gay ordinance in Cincinnati. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005

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