Everybody knows that Starbucks is proud of its commitment to diVeRsiTy and tOleRaNcE. The coffee chain has bent over backwards in recent years to appease the Woke mob, trying to prove how committed they are leftist causes.
Of course, as with all attempts to satiate the Woke Monster, it only makes the beast hungrier. All of their attempts have failed to protect the coffee giant from protesters and looters, who continue to demand the company bow to the Woke flavor of the week.
Yes, Starbucks has done everything they can to let their customers know they are on the right side of history, from holding anti-racism training to selling a whole line of LGBT products to celebrating gender dysphoric kids in official ads to printing staff shirts supporting Black Lives Matter.
One thing they absolutely cannot stand in this journey toward iNcLuSiViTy, however, is anyone with a slightly different worldview or religious beliefs on marriage, sexual behavior, and the nature of humanity that have been held by the majority of humanity for most of history.
That seems to be the case with Christian ex-employee Betsy Fresse, who says she was fired after refusing to wear a Gay Pride shirt. Fresse worked from the chain from 2015-2019 and claims in a new lawsuit that she was discriminated against after expressing her personal convictions about not wanting to wear company shirts pushing pro-LGBT ideals.
Fresse says she talked to her manager after a staff meeting when she noticed the shirts on the manager's desk. She says she asked if she would be required to wear one and explained her adherence to the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman.
(You know, that super-fringe belief to which billions of people still adhere.)
Fresse (correctly) said such a policy would be "tantamount to forced speech."
Apparently, the manager said no employee would be forced to wear the shirt. And that should have been the end of it, but a few weeks later, Fresse says she was contacted by Starbucks's "ethics and compliance department" (also known as the modern corporate version of the Nazi "Schutzstaffel").
(Members of the Starbucks Ethics and Compliance Department marching out to ensure the purity of Woke thought across the nation.)
Fresse had a conversation with the company representative and expressed again that she simply did not want to wear the shirt in violation of her faith.
Once more, that should have been the end of it.
On August 22, 2019, Fresse was fired.
Her termination letter claimed Fresse had told her co-workers they "need Jesus" and said, "her comportment was not in compliance with Starbucks' core values."
"We enforce these values when we embrace inclusion and diversity, and welcome and learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives," said the notice.
Ah, the problem was that Fresse didn't "embrace inclusion and diversity!"
Like all Woke screeds, Starbucks' "diversity" means prioritization of outward characteristics such as skin color (AKA racism) and sexual behavior, while excluding all variations of intellectual thought, scientific study, or religious belief that run counter to officially-approved ideas.
In the same way "inclusivity" means making sure everyone has a voice at the table – you know, as long as they also conform to those "diverse" standards of complete-and-utter-obedience-to-the-collective.
And "tolerance," of course, means letting every "diverse" person at that "inclusive" table live their lives in peace – unless some person expresses any unapproved thought, IN WHICH CASE THEY MUST BE DESTROYED.
Remember, Starbucks and companies like them "welcome and learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives" unless you are anyone other than a secular leftist.
(Or maybe if you're a police officer.)
The company is understandably denying the allegations. I don't have any way of knowing who is telling the truth, but I do know Starbucks called legalizing same-sex marriage "core to who we are and what we value" as early as 2012. While, in this case, the issue of discrimination is something to be worked out in court, those standards are indicative of a disturbing trend in corporations across the nation that seek to better involve certain groups of people at the exclusion of others.
If Fresse's litigation is successful, she would receive back pay for being wrongfully terminated and set a precedent to make sure Starbucks – and others like them – do not fail "to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs" of employees in future cases.