Why Supporting Gay Marriage Is Smart Business
Frank Bruni on why Starbucks, Microsoft, and others are backing change
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2012 2:21 PM CST
Exterior view of Starbucks Coffee shop is shown in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – If you support gay marriage, maybe you should grab a latte at Starbucks sometime soon, because the company is under fire for its support of a same-sex marriage law in its native Washington state. One pastor even called the company "haters of God," and demanded a boycott. So why has Starbucks taken such a controversial stand? For the same reason Microsoft, Amazon, and other corporate behemoths are backing same-sex marriage, reasons Frank Bruni of the New York Times: "It's the future."

"More so than politicians, corporations play the long game, trying to engender loyalty for decades to come," Bruni observes, and polls show that an overwhelming majority of young people—70% of those under 35, according to one poll—support same-sex marriage. It's not just liberal West Coast companies either; Texas-based JC Penney has kept Ellen DeGeneres as a pitchwoman, despite conservative Christian opposition. Up-and-coming politicians would do well to "read the trend lines and tea leaves the same way companies do." (Backers of same-sex marriage got a big court win today in California.)
 

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