Message from Zulima: Advancing Protections for Marriage Equality

Chief global public policy counsel Zulima Espinel shares our company’s ongoing commitment to advance inclusion and equity for all, following today’s important milestone when the Respect for Marriage Act was signed into law.


At Starbucks we believe we have a role and responsibility to serve communities by advancing inclusion, equity and belonging for everyone. This belief, core to our Mission and Values, is rooted in nurturing the human spirit and guides our decisions on how we can best use our voice and resources for good.

Today, our country reached an important milestone when the Respect for Marriage Act was signed into law. This bipartisan bill reflects broad support for same-sex and interracial marriages. The bill mandates federal recognition of marriages performed at the state level, guaranteeing rights and benefits under federal law and requires all states to recognize marriages performed in other states.

While this is an important step, we know that there may still be challenges to marriage equality in the legal system or in states and local jurisdictions. If you are passionate about this issue, we always encourage partners to make their voices heard with their elected officials, regardless of their political affiliation or views.

We know that creating a sense of belonging and advancing equity and inclusion requires intentional commitment from each of us to care for one another every day. For more than 30 years our company has supported our LGBTQIA2+ partners and communities – from offering inclusive health coverage, to expanding voluntary self-identification for partners, to partnering with organizations like Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Transgender Equality. And we continue to advocate in support of the Equality Act and oppose the patchwork of harmful policies and actions that have been proposed in several states around the country in addition to our recent advocacy around the Respect for Marriage Act.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to advance inclusion and equity for all, inspired by how you care for one another, our customers and communities every day.  

Your partner,