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Starbucks’ CEO cancels Chicago-area church appearance

Starbucks’ chief executive Howard Schultz canceled a high-profile church appearance after an online protest over the congregation’s views on homosexuality.

Bill Hybels, pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the western suburbs of Chicago, said Schultz withdrew after a petition circulated at Change.org asked him to denounce the mega-church’s views on homosexuality.

Hybels insisted his congregation is not anti-gay, saying it cut ties two years ago with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” religious movement that attempts to “cure” gays of homosexuality.

Earlier this summer, Starbucks issued a statement saying the company had “zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.” The statement came after the company received adverse publicity over the firing of an openly gay barista, who was harassed for discussing his personal life, and a female dwarf, who was fired after asking for a stool to reach something at work.

– from WiG and AP reports

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