Australian coffee shop chain Gloria Jean’s Coffees has been defending its donation to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
The chain, which has over 460 cafes in Australia and 1,000 worldwide, donated $30,000 (Australian dollars, $29,900, €23,700) to ACL in the 2010/2011 financial year.
The ACL is a vocal opponent of gay marriage in Australia and adoptions by same-sex couples.
In response to a campaign to boycott Gloria Jean’s Coffees that had gained over 1,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and 300 signatures on Change.org at the time of writing, the coffee chain released a statement today saying:
‘Yes, Gloria Jean’s Coffees did provide a donation to the Australian Christian Lobby in 2010, in support of the prime ministerial debate only. This was a once off donation during the time of the election.’
The successful chain also responded to reports that they are linked to ‘megachurch’ Hillsong which allegedly refers members to ‘gay cure’ programs.
The Gloria Jean’s Coffees statement added:
’It is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong.
‘By the same token, nor do we discriminate against others based on their beliefs or preferences. We are proud of our culture of equality and embrace diversity across our entire business.’
Commenters on samesame.com were unconvinced that this statement dispels the need for a boycott of the chain. Paul Kidd said:
‘If GJ's want to do some meaningful damage control, instead of issuing statements full of weasel words, they should pony up another $30,000 cheque, this one made out to Australian Marriage Equality.’