Turning a chicken sandwich into Public Gay Enemy Number One makes LGBT people look superficial, vindictive and juvenile — everything that we as a community have worked hard to overcome. Remember, employers don’t want drama queens on the payroll, military service is serious business, and marriage is not a right society grants to spoiled children. While in a perfect world our equality should not depend on our good behavior, in a world where our rights too often hinge on political reality, the way our movement conducts itself matters.
The “movable middle” moves both ways, and they don’t like seeing people attacked relentlessly for their religion. Whatever the nuances, these voters see a man standing up for his beliefs against a politically powerful mob dead-set on driving him out of business. It’s un-American, and when fellow conservatives are finally standing up and speaking out for marriage equality as consistent with the sober values of responsibility and commitment, splashing a popular American company with metaphorical chicken blood in protest is nothing less than friendly fire.
Even if marriage equality activists “won” and Chick-fil-A went out of business tomorrow, what would be gained? True, some businesses may hesitate to donate to antigay causes in the future, but LGBT people would have handed antigay organizations a weapon better than money can buy — confirmation that gay people really are the thought police, willing and able to use the power of the state to impose our will on oppressed social conservatives. Instead of standing for an outdated and dying discrimination, Chick-fil-A would become a martyr for religious freedom.
In a free society there is room for disagreement on marriage, as there is room for disagreement on war, health care and taxes. Remember, this is about fried chicken, not cross burnings. After DOMA is repealed and civil marriage equality is the law of the land, there will still be people who believe that a marriage between two men is no marriage at all. While it may hurt some feelings that not everybody will want to dance at our weddings, freedom will still mean freedom for everyone — even Dan Cathy. But in order to get to that day, LGBT Americans should take a lesson from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.””
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, in the Huffington Post.
Check it: this isn’t about my feelings. It’s not about Dan Cathy’s beliefs. It’s about where his company puts the money its customers give it. It’s about the fact that a chunk of that money goes to organizations that actively fight every attempt to get me my right to marriage, to groups that actively- as their primary function, as their stated mission- fool young versions of me into wasting the best years of their lives hating themselves for something they cannot and should not change.
If by avoiding being a customer, I can make less money go to those groups, then it is my duty to avoid being a customer. If I can tell other people to do the same, then it is my duty to tell other people to do the same. If one of our allies has an agreement wherein their toys are enticements for new customers, it is our duty to ask them to stop.
Nobody’s punishing a citizen for his personal beliefs. Nobody’s trying to reason with a frog puppet. Nobody’s angry at a sandwich.
(Also, drama queens do quite well in some fields [I can’t imagine PR or talent management without them, for example], marriage is and shall ever be available to spoiled adult children from coast to coast, and for the love of God, the fight for the right of GLBT servicemembers to serve openly was not an attempt to make military service more whimsical.)
I too believe that someday DOMA will be repealed and that civil marriage equality will be the law of the land. I’d like to see that day come soon. The groups Chick-fil-A donates millions of dollars to would like to see that day come never. So I’m going to do what I can to make sure that none of my dollars become any of those groups’ dollars. The end.
Yes, of course the conversation has gotten heated. Welcome to the internet. But trotting uninvited and uninformed into the argument isn’t helping, Mr. Cooper. You must forever conduct your personal business on the high plane of knowing what the hell you’re talking about.
It may be difficult for a gay Republican to understand this, but we’re not trying to win the personal approval of a rich old white guy. We’re using the free market to gain our own civil rights.
I can’t think of anything more American.
5:45 PM | 202 notes | http://tmblr.co/ZynHKxQVCUj-