Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby says the public boycotting of the Gloria Jeans coffee company for its hefty donation to the Lobby is “despicable” and he’s “bewildered and angry” about the situation.
Gloria Jeans’ $30,000 to the ACL was brought to our attention at the weekend, and prompted a huge online response as coffee drinkers frothed with disgust that their daily caffeine dose was funding the increasingly anti-gay so-called ‘Christian’ group.
Only a day after the revelation of their donation attracted so much controversy, Gloria Jeans rushed to distance themselves from the ACL, claiming it was only a one-off donation and that the company is “proud of our culture of equality and embrace diversity across our entire business.” See its response in full here.
The ACL’s Jim Wallace now tells the ABC that the Lobby is bewildered and angry about the public controversy.
“I think it’s despicable and I think it just represents this unequal hold that the gay activists have on the press, the way they’re able to turn anything against those who protect marriage,” he said.
There’s also an online clean-up operation. Hundreds of angry public comments on Gloria Jeans’ Facebook page have disappeared, and now Facebookers are now no longer able to post on that page (they can still comment under Gloria Jeans’ official posts though – take a look).
Also updated in recent days is the Hillsong Church’s website, which listed Gloria Jeans Coffees as a “generous supporter” of its annual conference until Tuesday. The supporters page has now been updated with references to the coffee chain having mysteriously disappeared. Dave the Happy Singer’s blog noticed the change.
Meanwhile, rival coffee giant Starbucks’ vocal support of marriage equality has been a welcome refreshment after the whipping up of beverage-based outrage.
Starbucks Australia announced on Tuesday: “Core to who we are and what we value as a company is our belief in equal treatment of our partners (employees) and our customers. It is with this in mind that Starbucks Australia would like to publicly announce our proud support of Marriage Equality for all. Many of our stores and partners are actively participating in events and activities aimed at changing local legislation – together we can make a difference.”
The company’s support for the cause has proven to be great PR, even making the front page of Melbourne’s MX newspaper yesterday, complete with a witty punning headline: