Monday, August 10, 2009
If you live anywhere in Canada or the northeast, chances are you’re familiar with the coffee/donut chain called Tim Hortons. But Tim Hortons has gone over to the dark side and I’m not referring to their French roast.
The chain is sponsoring the National Organization for Marriage’s antigay cookout and worship service on behalf of heterosexual-only marriage on Aug. 16 at Aldrich Mansion in suburban Providence, RI. Rhode Island is the last state in New England to oppose gay marriage equality.
According to Providence Daily Dose:
The event is “free and open to the public,” meaning that we’re all invited! So come on down! You can pay a modest fee for some hot food (some portion of which may or may not go to NOM/RI and their ongoing fight against the threat of marriage equality here and elsewhere), or you can just brown-bag it.
Tim Hortons is Canada’s largest foodservice operation, by some measures, larger than McDonald’s in that country. It is also the largest Canadian coffeehouse chain and their sponsorship of this discriminatory event appears to be violation of corporate policy against support for religious and political causes. According to the company web site:
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.
So, why the exception? Apparently, the company allows local store owners to bend the rules as they please.
Well, Tim Hortons — this is America and we’re free to do as we please too. I am asking my readers to take a moment and Contact Tim Hortons and tell them what you think about the value of a corporate policies that were made to be broken.
Editor Update: Reader Jimmy first brought this to our attention and I confirmed it on the Tim Horton corporate page.
Recently, Tim Hortons was approached in Rhode Island to provide free coffee and products for a local event, as we do thousands of times a year across Canada and the United States.
For 45 years, Tim Hortons and its store owners have practiced a philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we operate. As a company, our primary focus is on helping children and supporting fundraising events for non-profit organizations and registered charities.
For this reason, Tim Hortons has not sponsored those representing religious groups, political affiliates or lobby groups.
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.