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Starbucks Speaks Out In Support Of Gay Marriage

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It’s been a great week for gay rights in the Pacific Northwest, with the recent news that the Washington state legislature has enough votes to legalize gay marriage, and governor Chris Gregoire indicating she would sign the bill into law. And there’s more good news: major companies like Microsoft (which had previously held a “neutral” position on gay marriage) and Nike have signed a letter to the governor indicating their support for the marriage equality measures, and yesterday, Starbucks sent out a letter to their nearly 150,000 employees pledging their full support to marriage equality. Read the heartwarming Starbucks text in full after the jump. I’m off to have a celebratory caramel macchiato. [Buzzfeed]

To: U.S. partners
Date: January 24, 2012
Re: A Message from Kalen Holmes: Starbucks Supports Marriage Equality

Dear partners,

Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion.

This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.

For the last 20 years, our benefits program has offered domestic partner benefits in the U.S. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs and alternative health care coverage. All partners (part-time and full-time) in all work locations, whether in a store, a roasting plant or a corporate office, adhere to the same eligibility requirements for health coverage and have access to the same comprehensive health plans.

We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive and safe work environment for all of our partners.

We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.

Regards,

Kalen Holmes
executive vice president, Partner Resources

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