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Groups to Boycott Starbucks Over Stances on Gay Rights, Guns

Separate boycotts criticize the coffee chain's stances on national issues. What are your thoughts?

Some religious and political groups are urging customers to grab their morning coffee elsewhere in light of the company's stance on gay marriage and its policy on guns.

USA Christian Ministries, a group boycotting Starbucks for its recent support of gay marriage in the state of Washington, said in a news release that the coffee chain's decision has angered Christians.

"Christians are upset with Starbucks for turning against God," said Steven Andrew, president of USA Christian Ministries.

The group hopes that, with full support from Christians, Starbucks, which operates in Cranberry—plus kiosks inside and Booksellers— could lose as much as 80 percent of its business.

Starbucks joined Microsoft and Nike in publicly supporting gay marriage in a statement last week, according to the Seattle Times. In its statement, Kalen Holmes, executive vice president for partner resources, said Starbucks embraces diversity and provides an "inclusive, supportive and safe work environment" for its employees.

"This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners," the statement read. "It is core to who we are and what we value as a company."

Cranberry Patch asked its Facebook followers what they thought of the USA Christian Ministries group's boycott of the coffee giant. The response was overwhelmingly in support of Starbucks.

"How about letting people have their own thoughts & opinions on something, instead of forcing them to agree with propaganda & drivel," said reader Christine Iwanski. "I hadn't planned on stopping at Sbux today but I will now."

Susan Cable added, "Rock on, Starbucks."

This isn't the first time the company has made headlines for taking a stance on gay marriage. In 2011, Starbucks was among a group of 70 business and organizations opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, CNN reported.

An unrelated Feb. 14 boycott is planned to protest the company's policy allowing customers with guns to be served.

The National Gun Victims Action Council, an anti-gun group, said in a Jan. 23 news release its goal is to "eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S."

Would Starbucks' stance on gay marriage or its policy on guns affect your coffee habits? What do you think of the USA Christian Ministries boycott of the coffee giant? We want to hear from you. Leave your opinion in the comment section. 

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