The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM) will expand its campaign against Starbucks and other companies
for their support of gay marriage.
The nation's most vociferous opponent
of marriage equality discussed its new strategy in a conference call
last week, the American
Starbucks' “international outreach is
where we can have the most effect,” said NOM President Brian Brown.
“So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we've begun working
to make sure that there's some price to be paid for this. These are
not countries that look kindly on same-sex marriage. And this is
where Starbucks wants to expand, as well as India. So we have done
this; we've got to do a lot more.”
NOM launched its Dump Starbucks
campaign in the United States in April and expanded it
internationally the following month.
NOM lost big on election night as
voters in three states – Maine, Maryland and Washington state –
approved marriage equality and Minnesotans rejected an effort to ban
it. In Iowa, NOM backed a failed effort to oust Justice David
Wiggins from the state Supreme Court for joining in the unanimous
2009 ruling which legalized marriage for gay couples in Iowa. The group
also backed the failed bid of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Brown had predicted a “historic
national victory for marriage” on November 6. Instead his group
received a shellacking.
During the conference call, Brown
acknowledged the discrimination gay people face in many of the
countries his group was targeting, in particular India.
“The majority of Indian homosexuals –
many of whom still live with the parents – refer to their partners
as 'friends' for fear of being disowned by their families,” Brown
said. “Many are forcibly married off, trapped in a cycle of
pretense and deception and facing social ridicule if they attempted
to come out. And those who can live together do not advertise their
sexuality, for fear of being evicted by landlords or preyed upon by
the corrupt police who extort money from them on threat of exposure.”
Bloggers have called the new strategy
“That NOM is willing to take these
chances with others' lives and livelihoods – to 'pay the price,' in
Brown's words – in an attempt to indirectly (and so far,
unsuccessfully) influence politics inside the United States speaks
volumes about the organization,” wrote
Think Progress' Zack Beauchamp.