County Fair

NOM’s 'Dump Starbucks' Campaign Is An International Flop, Too

April 17, 2012 9:27 am ET by Carlos Maza

In an effort to renew interest in its stumbling “Dump Starbucks” campaign, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) announced last Tuesday that it would be taking its boycott overseas:

The National Organization for Marriage today announced that its new campaign is going international.

"In our first week, we gained 25,000 pledge signers in the U.S. alone; today we go international, expanding campaigns into Mandarin, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, and Bahala (one of the chief languages of Indonesia)," announced NOM President Brian Brown. " online ads will also start running in Egypt, Beijing, Hong Kong, the Yunnan region of China, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait."

The move was widely condemned by a number of LGBT bloggers who noted that NOM was specifically targeting countries that criminalize homosexuality, including several that punish homosexuality with the death penalty. As Think Progress’s Zack Ford wrote: 

The Dump Starbucks webpage tells its visitors that the coffee company’s support of marriage equality will “eliminate” the “definition of marriage between one man and one woman.” Sowing such seeds of fear in countries already opposed to homosexuality extends far beyond “fanning hostility” and could foster increased hostilities against people just for the coffee they choose to drink.

Thankfully, NOM’s international efforts don’t seem to be catching on. At 10:18 PM on Tuesday, just two hours before NOM announced that the boycott would be going international, the group’s Dump Starbucks petition had a total of 30,580 pledges:

[Dump Starbucks tweet, 4/10/12]

By the end of the week, however, the petition had less than two thousand new signatures:

[Dump Starbucks, accessed 9:15 AM, 4/17/12]

That would mean that NOM’s international effort has managed to bring in about less than 300 new pledges per country since Tuesday, assuming that every single new pledge has come from outside of the U.S. That seems highly unlikely, considering the boycott was endorsed by the Iowa FAMiLY Leader  on Thursday.

Since being launched, NOM’s Dump Starbucks campaign has been a source of embarrassment for the organization. Starbucks’ stock is at an all-time high, and one company spokesman stated that the coffee giant is “not seeing any impact” as a result of the boycott. Meanwhile, proponents of marriage equality have far outpaced NOM in gathering signatures to thank Starbucks for its support, even as NOM’s signature-counting methods have come under scrutiny.

In last Tuesday’s press release, a NOM spokesperson promised that his organization was committed to its Starbucks boycott “for the long haul.” Considering the campaign’s results so far, the anti-gay group may want to consider cutting its international losses.


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