A Message from Starbucks: Our Heritage, Our People, Our Purpose

As we have consistently done in celebration of our heritage months, we proudly raised the Progress Pride flag atop our Starbucks Support Center, and in thousands of our stores around the country. Raising the Pride flag continues to be one of our proudest traditions. We do this each year on behalf of partners around the world, to affirm the diversity of our LGBTQIA2+ community and as a call for a more inclusive society – a call we have made since our founding.  

We want to be crystal clear – Starbucks has been and will continue to be at the forefront of supporting the LGBTQIA2+ community, and we will not waver in that commitment! Despite today’s public commentary, there has been no change to any of our policies as it relates to our inclusive store environments, our company culture and the benefits we offer our partners. We continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June, as we always have.  

We must ALL have the same vision for how all people, including LGBTQIA2+ people, should be treated – with respect, support and allyship, because belonging is a core value. As such, we strongly disapprove of any person or group, seeking to use our partners’ cultural and heritage celebrations to create harm or flagrantly advance misinformation for self-interested goals. 

We are proud of our legacy and nearly 40 years of strong allyship. Throughout this journey, partners across the company, in particular our Pride Network, have played a critical role in shaping the decisions we make. At the heart of this work is ensuring we have inclusive benefits – like family expansion reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy, expanded health insurance options for transgender partners, and medical travel reimbursement when partners are legally unable to access gender affirming care.  

Over the years we have also forged non-profit partnerships, expanded self-ID options, advocated for marriage equality to the U.S. Supreme Court, worked with community groups and law enforcement to designate certain Starbucks stores as a Safe Place for victims of anti-LGBTQ-related crimes and harassment, updated our pronoun pins and expanded pronoun options in more of our partner systems, and more. It was this sense of purpose and responsibility, as partners, that led our founder, Howard Schultz, to speak out at our 2013 shareholders meeting in support of same sex marriage stating, “Not every decision is an economic decision. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people.” That moment – and the dozens before and after it – forever put us on a path to building a Starbucks where everyone is welcome.

Starbucks will continue to be a place where our partners, customers, and communities are seen, heard, and valued. This is our work, this is our promise, and this is our purpose.  

Laxman Narasimhan, ceo 
Sara Trilling, evp and president, North America