UPDATE: It looks like the pressure and attention worked. Just as this was publishing, Tim Hortons updated their website with the message that they are pulling support for the NOM event: "It has come to our attention that the Rhode Island event organizer and purpose of the event fall outside of our sponsorship guidelines. As such, Tim Hortons can not provide support at the event.
Tim Hortons and its store owners have always welcomed all families and communities to its restaurants and will continue to do so. We apologize for any misunderstanding or inconvenience this may have caused."
Here's the background of the Tim Hortons controversy:
Coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons, the largest food service operator in Canada which has outlets in the U.S., has decided to offer something less than appetizing on it's menu:
Tim Hortons is sponsoring Rhode Island's "First Annual Celebrate Marriage & Family Day", an event put on by the National Organization for Marriage. The event is being hailed as:
a great opportunity to take a stand for marriage as it was created: between a man and a woman. Our goal is to esteem marriage to its proper place in society and make a statement that Rhode Islanders believe strongly in this cherished institution.
They're supporting a NOM anti-gay pep rally.
Truth Wins Out points out that the sponsorship, besides being generally disgusting and confounding, would appear to be in violation of the corporate policy against support for religious and political causes, which states:
As a company, our focus is on helping children and supporting fundraising events for non-profit organizations and registered charities.
For this reason, Tim Hortons does not sponsor individuals, those representing religious groups, political affiliates, book endorsements or traveling sports teams. Tim Hortons does not provide cash donations.
The exception is apparently being made because the company also allows local store owners to bend the rules as they please, which explains the coffee, doughnuts, and fundamentalist hate being served up piping hot in Rhode Island.
The sponsorship isn't going over well or being unnoticed by locals. The Providence Daily Dose is dumbfounded:
What in the world are they doing sponsoring something like this? Their site says that they support 'local initiatives that make a difference' -- such as little leagues, Halloween safety, and the like. And that they sponsor community initiatives with a focus on 'helping children and supporting fundraising events for non-profit organizations and registered charities.' But not 'those representing religious groups [or] political affiliates,' such as.. well, how would you characterize a group like NOM?
I couldn't put it better myself. In what crazy leap of logic is NOM not a religious and/or political affiliate? Why would they want their name associated with the group who brought you the lampooned "Gathering Storm" commercial and "opposite marriage" and opposite logic queen Carrie Prejean?
Time to start contacting Tim Hortons and let them know that this type of sponsorship and support to hate groups like NOM isn't going to go unchallenged.
And time to start taking your money and doughnut appetite to another store- one that isn't funneling your money to groups that take away rights.
Editor's Note: And the pressure worked. Kudos to everyone who called, emailed, and let Tim Hortons know how they felt about them supporting NOM.