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August 11, 2005

ANTI-GAY HATE CAMPAIGN TARGETS STARBUCKS...plus, Saudis Jail HIV Patients, Withhold Medication

I've written before about the potent anti-gay boycott and pressure campaigns by the Christian right and the "family values" industry targeting Corporate America (see my L.A. Weekly article, "The New Blacklist: Corporate America Caves In to the Christers.").Well, the Christers now have a new target for their hate-spewing: Starbucks.

  • The Concerned Women of America -- an outfit run by Beverly LaHaye (right), Beverly_lahaye the wife of fundamentalist preacher Rev. Tim Lahaye, a Christian broadcaster with her own nationally syndicated radio show, and a skilled Christer propagandist who's written eight books and sits on the board of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University -- has now targeted the latte-purveying company for promoting homosexual values. "Starbucks Funds and Promotes Homosexual Activism,:" shrieks Mrs. LaHaye's website.

Starbucks' crime? The company  is corrupting our youth on its coffee cups. On the back of certain Starbucks cups, as part of their "The Way I See It" series, is a quote from Tales_of_the_city openly gay writer Armistead Maupin --- author of the "Tales of the City" series of six books that also became a TV series on PBS and Showtime, with Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney among its stars. Armistead's oh-so-dangerous words on the Starbucks cup read:

Starbucks_cup_2 "My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short." Armistead_maupin

That unimpeachable statement by our friend Armistead Maupin (right) is, when it appears on Starbucks' coffee cups, apparently a violation of the "Biblical values for women and families" which Mrs. LaHaye proclaims she founded Concerned Women of America to promote (the group had a $12 million budget in 2003, the last year for which figures are publicly available).

Another Starbucks crime, in the eyes of LaHaye and the Christers, is to have provided a bit of funding for San Diego's Gay Pride celebrations.

An interesting note about Christer hypocrisy: BlogActive reports that Lee LeHaye -- son of Beverly and the Rev. Tim -- who is the Concerned Women of America's CFO -- is openly gay.

As my survey of the anti-gay Christer boycotts of Corporate America shows, many of the largest companies have been knuckling other to the censorious demands of the religious primitives. That's why you can, and should, take some concrete action. Contact Starbucks and tell them not to cave in to Beverly LaHayes'  campaign of hate and fear-mongering -- you can express your opinion to Starbucks by clicking here.

SAUDIS JAIL AIDS PATIENTS, WITHHOLD MEDICATION: The Toronto, Canada daily Globe and Mail reports that Saudi Arabia is "jailing and withholding medication from the country's foreigners with HIV."  The Globe and Mail profiles one such victim of brutally inhumane treatment, a Palestinian. "Mohammed spends his days in a crowded cage, dying of a treatable disease for which the richest country in the Middle East won't provide medicines," the paper says, adding that Mohammed is confined "along with two roommates who also are infected with the virus. They live behind a brown steel door with barred windows, victims of a closed society that would rather deport people, such as Mohammed, than talk about sex, drug use or AIDS." To read the rest of this horrifying story, click here.

Iranian Sources Question Rape Charges in Teen Executions
is the title of an article by me written at the request of Gay City News -- New YorkIrangay_teens_6 City's largest gay weekly -- and which reprises and updates myGcn_logo  DIRELAND post of August 9 on the hangings in Iran of two gay teens. This article appears in the new issue of GCN out today, and you can read it by clicking here. 

GAY USA CABLE TV NEWS NOW ONLINE THROUGH PAGE ONE Q: The longest-running gay program on Cable TV, the New York-based "Gay USA," is now available through the gay news website Page One Q. Hosted by the indefatigable duo of Andy Humm -- a veteran gay journalist and a former member of the New York City Human Rights Andy_humm_gay_usa Commission -- and Ann Northrop -- a former CBS producer and longtime gay and AIDS activist -- "Gay USA" has brought gay news, information, and activist alerts (as well as entertainment) to many people, including a lot of young not-yet-out gay kids, who'd be too scared to pick up a gay newspaper or wouldn't have access to one. The admirable Ann and Andy (above,  at left in the photo) have been doing this show, unpaid, for some 15 years; they're imbued with the militant activist and liberationist spirit that is too often sadly lacking in our assimilationist national gay institutions; and it's great to see their show (which originates on NYC public access cable) now available nationally online. To view them through Page One Q, click here.

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What was the high and low price of a share of Starbucks stock during the past year? Does Starbucks Corporation appear to have an operating philosophy that is similar or dissimilar to other corporations? Do you think this philosophy is serving Starbucks well?

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The latest target in the wave of anti-gay boycotts and pressure campaigns
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