The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which advocates for restricting the legal definition of marriage to one man and one woman, has announced an international protest of Starbucks over the company’s support of marriage equality.

NOM’s campaign is a response to Starbucks’s announcement in January that it would join a growing list of corporations to endorse marriage equality in Washington. The state House and Senate are expected to approve, and Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign, legislation that legalizes same-sex sometime this year.

Said NOM President Brian Brown about the protest:

“Unlike our opponents, we do not target whole companies for the actions of an individual business executive in that company. … But Starbucks has taken a corporate position in support of redefining marriage for all of society. We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens. The majority of Americans and virtually every consumer in some countries in which Starbucks operates believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. They will not be pleased to learn that their money is being used to advance gay marriage in society.”

Yet while Brown is correct that some countries almost fully oppose even basic rights for gay persons, let alone marriage rights, he is either ignorant of or purposely misleading the public on polling data in the U.S. The latest surveys show that a slight majority of Americans believe same-sex marriage ought to be legal.

That said, polling data is irrelevant to discussions on rights. Every single straight American could believe gay persons should be deprived of certain rights, and they would still be wrong. Rights aren’t popularity contests. In the eyes of the government, rights should be provided to everyone, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation.

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