The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on Wednesday launched a boycott against Starbucks over the company's support of Washington state's recently-approved gay marriage law.

At a shareholders' meeting of the Seattle-based coffee giant, Jonathan Baker, director of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project, asked company officials about the decision to back marriage equality.

Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz received a warm round of applause from the audience when he answered: “I think any decision of this type or magnitude has to be made with great thoughtfulness. And I would assure you that the senior team of Starbucks discussed this, and it was … To be candid with you not something that was a difficult decision for us. And we did share this with some members of the board as well.”

He added that the company made its decision “through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.”

When a second shareholder followed up with, “Is it prudent to risk the economic interests of all the shareholders for something that might affect the private lives of a very small percentage of our employees?” Schultz responded that the decision has had no effect on the company's business. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Following the meeting, NOM, which is supporting a referendum to repeal the law, announced a Dump Starbucks protest.

“We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens,” NOM President Brian Brown said in a statement. “The majority of Americans and virtually every consumer in some countries in which Starbucks operates believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. They will not be pleased to learn that their money is being used to advance gay marriage in society.”

The group said it would place ads urging customers to “dump Starbucks” in the United States as well as in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.