Australian owned Gloria Jean's Coffee gave $30,000 to the anti-gay marriage group Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

The revelation came in mid-June. Since then, the coffee giant has rushed to distance itself from the ACL.

The first Gloria Jean's Coffees shop was opened in 1979 by Gloria Jean Kvetko in Chicago, USA. In 1995, Nabi Saleh and Peter Irvine purchased the Gloria Jean's Coffees brand for all countries with the exception of the United States and Puerto Rico. In 2009, a company affiliated with the Australian corporation purchased the North American rights. There are currently more than 1,000 Gloria Jean's Coffees shops worldwide.

The company confirmed in a statement that in the 2010-11 tax year it donated $30,000 to the ACL, one of the nation's most vocal opponents of gay rights and marriage equality in particular.

“This was a once off donation during the time of the election … in support of the prime ministerial debate only,” a spokesman for the coffee chain said.

The company has also faced charges that it supports Hillsong Church, a ministry which once supported “ex-gay” therapy.

“What's more, it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong.”

“By the same token, nor do we discriminate against others based on their beliefs or preferences. We are proud of our culture of equality and embrace diversity across our entire business,” the spokesman added.

Nearly 3,000 people have joined a petition calling for a boycott against the company.

Meanwhile in the United States, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has launched a boycott against Starbucks for its support of gay marriage. More than 45,000 people have pledged to “dump Starbucks.” However, more than 650,000 people have joined a campaign thanking the coffee giant.