Following New Balance's debacle, Starbucks has woken up and smelled the coffee (hyuck hyuck) and sees its CEO Howard Schultz canceling a speech that had been scheduled to take place Friday at Chicago-area Willow Creek Community Church. Details follow.
Shortly after the speech was scheduled, an online petition popped up with signers urging the CEO to cancel the speech in front of the homophobic megachurch which has a history with Exodus International.
Asher Huey, the creator of the Change.org petition asking Schultz and Starbucks to distance itself from Willow Creek, told the Chicago Tribune that “the church that is sponsoring the event has a long history of anti-gay persecution."
A spokesperson for Willow insists the church's ties to Exodus were cut in 2009. Now, she says, Willow feels that “coming to faith in Christ doesn’t promise a change in sexual orientation." However, a former member of Willow claims that its senior pastor Bill Hybels still urges the LGBT community to become celibate or risk damnation.
Whatever message Willow Church is currently trying to send about gays and lesbians, Starbucks and Schultz must have considered the appearance too risky to continue forward with the scheduled speech; as of last night, it was announced that Schultz would not speak at Willow, though no reason for the cancellation was provided.
It is worth noting that Starbucks is still internally investigating an incident stemming from earlier this summer when a manager reportedly fired an openly-gay employee for, well, being openly gay.
Are you satisfied that Starbucks and CEO Schultz canceled the appearance at the not-so-gay-friendly megachurch?
(Image source: Seattle Weekly)