Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has criticized Starbucks for supporting an effort to legalize gay marriage in Washington state.

Starbucks is among the more than 100 Washington-based companies which publicly support the effort currently before lawmakers.

(Related: Gay marriage bill clears Washington House panel; Senate vote Wednesday.)

“Americans should be able to drink a peaceful cup of coffee without worrying that a portion of the company's profits is going to be used to push gay marriage without a vote from the people,” Brown said in a statement. “This is a gratuitous leap into a hot button culture war issue; respect for diversity touted by Starbucks ought to include respecting the diverse views of all its customers and employees.”

NOM said it would encourage Starbucks customers to complain to the company.

“Increasingly, gay marriage extremists are arguing that people known to oppose same-sex marriage should not be hired, or even, should be fired,” said Jonathan Baker, head of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project. “Diversity and tolerance are a two-way street. Having waded into a social issue where Starbucks has no special competence, the company has an obligation to reassure its customers, vendors and employees that it will respect the most important diversity – diversity of opinion.”