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stated on February 23, 2017 in in a blog post:
"Starbucks CEO: ‘If You Support Traditional Marriage We Don’t Want Your Business’"
By Bill McCarthy
June 5, 2018
Website misquotes former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz about views on marriage
With his decision to step down as executive chairman of Starbucks, Howard Schultz has been in the news a lot lately, and one resurfacing headline would have readers believe he once told opponents of same-sex marriage that he did not want their business. But this is an uncorroborated quote that has been floating around the internet for years.
"Starbucks CEO: ‘If You Support Traditional Marriage We Don’t Want Your Business," said a February 2017 headline from My Christian Daily, which circulated social media last week. My Christian Daily is a project from Initiate Media, a Christian media company that "seek(s) to make God famous," according to its "About" page.
Similar stories have appeared on various websites since 2013. My Christian Daily cited an article from the Washington Press — a website that we were unable to find and may no longer exist — as well as an article from Forbes.
Facebook users flagged this story as part of efforts to combat false news and misinformation on Facebook's News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The story about Schultz said that during a 2013 annual meeting for Starbucks shareholders, Schultz received a complaint from Tom Strobhar, founder of The Corporate Morality Action Center, an organization with a mission to "challenge companies that offend traditional moral norms" such as "the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."
Strobhar said he believed Starbucks lost revenue because of its public support for a 2012 same-sex marriage referendum, which in turn inspired boycotts from anti-gay-marriage groups, such as the National Organization for Marriage. The referendum asked voters if same-sex marriage should be legalized in the state of Washington, and Starbucks joined other leading Washington-area companies in supporting the measure.
In response, the story went, Schultz told Strobhar to sell his Starbucks shares and invest in other companies.
As it turns out, Schultz’s actual remarks were more nuanced, and we did not find any credible articles that quoted him saying he did not want business from opponents of same-sex marriage. Snopes debunked this falsehood years ago and updated its post on Sunday.
Schultz said at the time that the decision to support same-sex marriage was about respecting diversity rather than maximizing revenue.
stated on September 13, 2021 in an article
“Polling center tells some Republicans they ‘already voted’" in the California recall election.
By Tom Kertscher • September 14, 2021
"Not every decision is an economic decision," Schultz said. "Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38 percent shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38 percent over the last 12 months."
He continued: "Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity of all kinds. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company."
Schultz’s 38 percent figure comes from fiscal year 2012, meaning the timeframe between October 2011 to September 2012. This return was down from the previous fiscal year, which saw a 46 percent shareholder return. (See a video of Schultz’s full response.)
When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, Starbucks issued a statement applauding the decision and recalling Schultz’s exchange with Strobhar as "the company’s most vocal statement on diversity and equality."
Reggie Borges, a spokesperson for Starbucks, said the My Christian Daily story is not accurate and pointed to the Snopes fact-check, a video of Schultz’s response and the statement released after 2015 Supreme Court ruling as evidence.
My Christian Daily did not respond to a request for comment.
Our ruling
A headline stated, "Starbucks CEO: ‘If You Support Traditional Marriage We Don’t Want Your Business.’"
This is a claim that has circulated since 2013. At an annual meeting for company shareholders, Strobhar said the company’s support for same-sex marriage was eroding its bottom line, which prompted Schultz to defend his decision.
Schultz said Strobhar was free to sell his Starbucks stocks and invest in another company if he believed the company’s social policies meant he could get a better return on his money elsewhere. He did not say opponents of same-sex marriage were not wanted as investors or as customers.
We rate this statement False.
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Internet rumors

"Starbucks CEO: ‘If You Support Traditional Marriage We Don’t Want Your Business’"
In a post on the Internet – Thursday, February 23, 2017
Our Sources
My Christian Daily, "Starbucks CEO: ‘If You Support Traditional Marriage We Don’t Want Your Business,’" February 23, 2017., "Starbucks CEO: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business," December 31, 2013.
Forbes, "Howard Schultz To Anti-Gay-Marriage Starbucks Shareholder: ‘You Can Sell Your Shares,’" March 22, 2013.
Snopes, "Starbucks and Same-Sex Marriage," June 3, 2018.
Starbucks Newsroom, "Starbucks Applauds Supreme Court’s Ruling on Marriage Equality," June 26, 2015.
Business Insider, "Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Slaps Down Anti-Gay Marriage Activist at Shareholder Meeting," March 22, 2013.
CNN Money, "Starbucks CEO holds his ground on gay marriage," March 28, 2013.
The Washington Post, "Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s grande support for gay marriage," March 25, 2013.
Starbucks Newsroom, "Delivering Record Performance Through the Lens of Humanity," accessed June 5, 2018.
PolitiFact, "The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage," June 29, 2015.
Corporate Morality Action Center, Homepage, accessed June 5, 2018.
Dump Starbucks, "Why dump starbucks?" accessed June 5, 2018.
Email interview with Reggie Borges, Starbucks spokesman, June 5, 2018.

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stated on August 30, 2021 tweets:
A video shows the “Taliban hanging someone from a helicopter.”
By Bill McCarthy • August 31, 2021
Facebook posts
stated on September 19, 2021 in a Facebook post:
Says the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t “prevent catching or spreading” the virus “and only lasts months.”
By Ciara O'Rourke • September 21, 2021
Jennifer Granholm
stated on September 8, 2021 in an interview on CNN:
“West Virginia University just came out with a study that showed that there will be almost 20,000 jobs created in clean energy in West Virginia if (President Joe Biden’s) agenda is passed.”
By Duncan Slade • September 21, 2021
stated on September 21, 2021 in a blog post:
“The CDC and county health officials have obtained 2020 Census records to enhance their vaccination enforcement protocols.”
By Ciara O'Rourke • September 21, 2021
Gwen Moore
stated on September 3, 2021 in Twitter:
“President Biden has created more jobs in his first 7 months than any POTUS in history.”
By Laura Schulte • September 21, 2021
Richard Ojeda
stated on August 15, 2021 in a tweet:
The United States spent “2 trillion dollars to train and equip the Afghan military over the past 20 years. They fell in a week.”
By Zach DeLuca • September 21, 2021
Viral image
stated on September 12, 2021 in a Facebook post:
"Peak active cases” of COVID-19 for 2020 vs. 2021 show “this is not a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.'"
By Tom Kertscher • September 20, 2021
Viral image
stated on September 13, 2021 in a Facebook post:
Photos show the health ministers of Canada and Los Angeles.
By Ciara O'Rourke • September 20, 2021
Viral image
stated on September 14, 2021 in a Facebook post:
Photo shows a gravestone in Japan with a QR code.
By Ciara O'Rourke • September 20, 2021
Facebook posts
stated on August 24, 2021 in a Facebook post:
“Hundreds of thousands died after taking the advice of these celebrities,” who are “aiding and abetting mass murder” by advocating COVID-19 vaccination.
By Tom Kertscher • September 20, 2021
Richard Hudson
stated on September 1, 2021 in a Facebook post:
Says U.S. left 33 Black Hawks to the Taliban, which has more than “85%” of all countries.
By Paul Specht • September 19, 2021
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