Gloria Jean’s has faced a social media backlash after it emerged the café franchise donated $30,000 to anti-gay marriage group, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
Gloria Jean’s was bombarded with boycott messages on its Facebook page and on Twitter after JOY94.9 presenter Doug Pollard revealed the news recently.
In a statement on Facebook yesterday, Gloria Jean’s defended its actions and said it was not religiously affiliated.
“What’s more, it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong,” the statement read.
“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.”
The company donated $30,000 to the ACL in 2010 and was the only business besides a Christian superannuation organisation to donate political funds to the group in that year.
Social media campaigns on Facebook and Change.org have already notched up hundreds of supporters as well as the angry boycott messages posted on its Facebook page.
The coffee chain has been linked with the anti-gay Hillsong Church although the Gloria Jean’s statement denied any connections between the Australian franchises and the church.
Meanwhile, Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich has accused the ACL of scaremongering after a new video linked same-sex marriage to polyamory.
“The ACL’s scaremongering is a sign of desperation and will be rejected by the majority of fair-minded Australians who want their gay friends and family members to be able to share in the values, traditions and joys of marriage as an exclusive, lifelong union,” Greenwich said.
“The international experience proves there is no link between same-sex marriage and polygamy, which is why conservative figures like [beyondblue chairman] Jeff Kennett, [British prime minister] David Cameron, and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key have no problem supporting same-sex marriages.”
Watch the ACL’s video below. What do you think?