Starbucks Gay Marriage Stance: CEO Puts Smackdown On Anti-Marriage Equality Shareholder: At Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, Wash., on Wednesday, CEO Howard Schultz told off an investor who tried to argue that the company's support for gay marriage is bad for business.
NPR affiliate KPLU captured audio of the heated exchange:
"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings -- shall we say politely -- were a bit disappointing," Starbucks shareholder Tom Strobhar said, referring to the National Organization for Marriage's boycott of the coffee company.
Schultz replied bluntly that Starbucks's endorsement of marriage equality wasn't about making money, but about the principle of diversity.
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much," Schultz said, to applause from the audience.