Boycotts and Me: A Chick-fil-A Roundup

I haven’t posted anything about Chick-fil-A yet, even though it’s been in the news lately. Thing is, the current flap is all too familiar. I remember the boycotts. It seems like, as evangelicals, we were always boycotting something. The one I remember most is K-Mart, which we studiously avoided even though I don’t even remember what they did that we were unhappy with.

In this post, I’m going to quote from a number of articles from the blogosphere to examine the recent Chick-fil-A issue and address also address boycotts specifically, drawing on both my own experiences and my thoughts today. So, here goes!

First I give you ‘Stance’ vs. substance: why evangelicals are confused about the actual harm Chik-fil-A is doing to actual people, on The Slacktivist:

For a recent example of this bafflement in action, see Jasmine Young’s Christianity Today article on Chik-fil-A’s most recent offensive in the culture wars. Young describes this as mainly a “controversy … over Chik-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s stance against same-sex marriages.”

This misunderstands, and fundamentally misrepresents, the complaint of those who are upset with Chik-fil-A. Unlike Young and the Christianity Today crowd, these folks don’t primarily view the world through the lens of “stances.” They’re not upset with Cathy’s “stance,” but with his actions.

Because those actions matter. Dan Cathy and Chik-fil-A are exerting power against other people. They are using their financial power to leverage political power in order to deny others their rights.

Chik-fil-A’s critics aren’t concerned about Cathy’s opinions, but about his actions — his actions against them.

For Christianity Today, opinions are what matters most. For them, the important thing is Cathy’s “stance” and not the substance of his actions against others.

Two excellent points here. First, evangelicals are indeed obsessed with stance over substance. I think one reason is the emphasis on faith over works. If you hang around evangelicals long enough, you’ll hear over and over again that we’re NOT saved by our works, but rather by our FAITH – and that if you even start to think your works might matter in gaining salvation, well, then you’re not saved. With this background, it’s no wonder opinions seem to be so very much more important to evangelicals than actions.

Second, I think that if the only concern was Cathy’s beliefs, well, this whole boycott thing would be kind of silly. We do have freedom of belief in this country. I don’t ask my landlady her religious beliefs, so why should what Chick-fil-A’s CEO believes matter? The issue, though, becomes quite different if actions are involved. If Chick-fil-A donates some proportion of its proceeds to hate groups, or actively discriminates in some way, well, then I definitely won’t be sending any of my money that way. But I think we need to remember that distinction between belief and action.

Next I offer Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse: “Reject gays and eat at Chick-fil-A.” on John Shore:

I’ve been ignoring the whole Chick-fil-A thing because there’s only so much stupid a person can absorb before having to whang themselves on the head with a hammer. (And also because I loathe businesses founded upon the idea that illiteracy is charming.)

But yesterday I got a letter from a reader in which she related how she and her daughter had done a “shoebox Christmas box” for the Christian non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse, the Board Chairman and CEO of which is Franklin Graham.

“Other than a quick look at their website,” she wrote, “I did not really research the organization. Since doing the box I received occasional emails from them. Last week I received one asking me to pray for Chick-fil-A and their crusade against gay marriage. WHAT!?!! I thought we were helping the impoverished with toothpaste, medical care, and stuffed teddy bears!”

See, even as evangelicals will cry “religious discrimination” when faced with the outcry over Chick-fil-A, they will turn around and make it into a religious crusade. In resisting the onslaught aimed at Chick-fil-A, they unwittingly only perpetuate it. I mean, praying for the good, godly people of Chick-fil-A to stand firm against the evils of gay marriage? How does that say anything but “hey gay people! Chick-fil-A really is trying to curtail your rights!”

I guess what I’m saying is, evangelicals can’t both say that the whole anti-Chick-fil-A thing is all ridiculous hype by crazed liberals why are trying to stifle simple freedom of belief and argue that Chick-fil-A needs prayer and support as it wages war against gay marriage. Sorry. It just doesn’t work like that.

And finally I give you Chick-fil-A and the Attack of the Tyrannatots, by Douglas Wilson (I’m sorry in advance):

The outlines of the latest Free Speech Clown Car Review are pretty familiar by now. Dan Cathy, the COO of Chick-fil-A, was asked his opinion on homosexual marriage, and he, being a good Christian man, said he was agin it. This should not have been an astonishment, for it has pretty much been the mainstream position of Western civilization from Moses down to the Obama of about three months ago. But a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as the fellow said, and so who cares anymore? That man with all the chicken has clearly DEVIATED, and he must be CORRECTED.

The word discriminate is a verb that requires context before determining whether it is a good or bad thing. Discriminate against what? Why? Against whom? Gay is not the new black. Being homosexual is sinful, and being black isn’t. This kind of argument assumes that if an employer declines to make a compulsive gambler his bookkeeper then next thing you know he will be turning away hardworking and thrifty Asians who want to work for him honestly. I guess the argument makes sense, if the light is poor, and you squint. I guess the argument makes sense if you assume that being a thief and being Asian amount to more or less the same thing.

Yes, I just made you read something by Doug Wilson. I sincerely apologize. But, I wanted to use his words to make two points.

First, in spite of The Slacktivist’s differentiation between stance and substance, evangelicals will naturally interpret this whole thing as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and freedom of belief. I remember this well. This sort of thing is used as fodder for the argument that the grand governmental suppression of Christianity, and imprisonment of Christians, is just around the corner. In other words, it plays into the evangelical persecution complex, building its walls higher rather than finding any way to reach across them for honest discussion or any chance of actually changing hearts.

The problem is, it seems like everything plays into their worldview, because it can somehow be interpreted to do so. No matter what I say, my parents will attribute my defection to liberal brainwashing. You see what I’m saying? Speaking out against Chick-fil-A or similarly anti-gay businesses in any way is going to result in cries of “Persecution! Thought police! Persecution!” from evangelicals. I don’t have a solution here, but I think it’s important to remember that boycotts or outcries like this can actually have a negative affect, further fortifying evangelical worldviews.

Second, I think the biggest hangup between the pro- and anti-gay-rights crowds is the question of whether people are naturally born gay or whether being gay is simply a sin anyone can indulge in, like theft. Is being gay like being black, or is it like being a compulsive gambler? This is part of why those on each side of the aisle so often simply talk past each other. Simply put, they’re not talking about the same thing. And when you combine this with evangelicals’ persecution complex and their seeming belief that any criticism of or resistance toward their beliefs amounts to thought police with pending imprisonment, well, sometimes I just want to throw up my hands in despair! I don’t know how to fix this, except to say that my own conversion from anti-gay to pro-gay-rights began with actually knowing real, live gay people.

I’m not sure any of those thoughts are really cohesive. I suppose that’s probably natural because my thoughts on the Chick-fil-A issue haven’t really been that cohesive. I won’t be buying anything at Chick-fil-A because I don’t want my money working against the rights of my friends and co-workers, but I can’t help but watch the vocal outcry against Chick-fil-A with a sad understanding of how evangelicals will use the issue to only further buttress their discriminatory beliefs and worldview.

On Indiana
On Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals
A Letter from Hell, and Self-Reinforcing Beliefs
A Matter of Patriarchy
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    I think people are born gay or straight and it certainly isn’t a something you can decide (although it can change during life in some people, sexual fluidity, …) but even if it was a choice I still would be completely on board since I see nothing wrong with same-sex relationships. I’m sure a good bunch on the liberal side agree with this but for the people who think gay acts are “sinful”.

    Which takes us to other extreme, religious people who do think people are born that way and if they don’t act on it , they are golden… I don’t think I need to explain how awful that is here XP I just wanted to add the two other perspectives that complement the ones you posted.

    I agree that acts are many times more important than actions but I also wanted to clarify that even if you have the right to free expression, first amendment and the like, you don’t have the right to talk without consequences. The same way he has the right to say bigoted things, I have the right to decided I don’t like them and but some place else, specially if he was talking as representative of his company and in a show broadcast to the public. If one of my friends said he wanted to kill all gay people, I would stop being his friend. I know it’s different with boycotts and that the line can be too thin and I wouldn’t like to be put in the same level as hateful organisations like One Million Moms or the Illinois Family Association but being a bigot should have consequences if we want them to stop walking all over LGBTQ people.

  • mostlylurking

    No matter what we say or do, we cannot make the bigots change. But the message we send by boycotting bigoted businesses go to somebody else, those who are hurt by the bigots actions. We are saying loud and clear that we have their backs, they are not alone. That’s important. I couldn’t give a rats posterior about the feelings of the bigots, because no matter what they will choose to ignore decency and empathy.

    • Cado

      That’s very much my stance. I’d also add that I am concerned about the beliefs of the people who run businesses like Chick-Fil-A. It wouldn’t make a lick of difference to me what they thought in private if they never made it known or they didn’t back up their words with harmful actions, but the whole mindset isn’t one that I can write off as harmless when I know someone holds to it and they make sure that I’m aware of it. If it’s ever benign, it’s only because someone feels their hands are tied, or because they’re saving their energies for when they decide to make a push supporting their beliefs. There isn’t any room for the kind of backward thinking that fundamentalists promote anymore. There’s certainly room for Christians like Fred Clark of Slacktivist, but the ones that echo anti-gay sentiments and the like have to be called out. Their beliefs are inherently problematic.

      I don’t want to take away their right to free speech, I don’t want to legally bar them from running their own businesses or owning their own publications, but I have no desire to associate with any of them. I want them to know that. I want them to know why. Regardless of whether they will ever change, I want to make it clear that I think they are on the wrong side of history, and that we’ll have to look for answers that lie outside of their twisted views of the world if saner heads are to prevail.

  • Rosie

    I don’t think boycotts are particularly effective social action, though they do make those engaging in them feel better about their (stunningly limited when it gets down to it) ability to choose. Chick-fil-a is hardly likely to notice my boycott of them over this issue; I pretty much avoid fast food anyhow.

    • Cado

      Personal boycotts tend not to make any difference. Organized boycotts, though? There’s a huge precedence for that. If you can hit companies in the wallet and you make it clear why you’re doing it, they will change. That’s the long and short of it. The major hurdle is actually organizing.

  • Cranapple

    LOL, your post is the top google search result for “evangelical k-mart boycott.” Congratulations!

    I had to go check out the reason for the boycott in the 90′s, because I vaguely recalled it from my childhood as well. (The AFA was upset because Waldenbooks, owned by K-Mart, sold pornography in its periodicals section.)

  • Jason Dick

    mostlylurking, I think this very blogger is proof that yes, some bigots can change. I was also a bigot back when I was a Christian, because I believed in the bigotry of my parents and my church. So just because most bigots won’t change doesn’t mean that they can’t. There are some who can and will.

    In this case, yes, I think Libby is absolutely right that the primary excuse that Christians give is that homosexuality is a choice. They don’t see it as a sexual orientation. They see it as an action. Sometimes they simply refuse to believe that people can be born with an inherent sexual desire towards others of the same sex. Sometimes they accept that people are born to be later attracted to the same sex, but then just think that those people need to work harder to remain godly.

    To the latter, I will simply point out that they are asking some group of people to never know love. To the former, there’s a fun little statistic: The more sons a woman has, the more likely the next son is to be gay. It doesn’t matter what their upbringing is (e.g. the son could be adopted into a family with no other children). It just matters how many sons their birth mother has previously birthed. This, to me, is proof positive that at least a good fraction of homosexuality is determined before a person is born.

    Of course, nobody should expect their arguments to ever win a person over right then and there, but it does happen over time if they’re continually bombarded with the fact that they are being hateful and immoral. And yes, people are won over.

    • Ray

      (Off topic, but I’m giggling that your name is the first name (well nickname for one) of my two favorite Robins of Batman fame).

      Anyway, I always wondered about data about with women having more sons there is a chance one will be gay is more of a logic (either pertaining to a woman having a son that is attractive to men or the son will be attractive to men) or hormonal. I also wondered if there’s any research about women attractive to other women and just plain bisexuality like the study you commented about (I remember seeing that study somewhere).

      • Anat

        It’s not just having many sons – it is a matter of a son having many elder bio-brothers. If it were just the numbers issue then in families of 5 sons each of the 5 would have an equal chance of being gay, but the data shows that the later a son is in birth order the greater his chances of being gay. (One interpretation I read is that the mother may produce antibodies against some antigen originating from the fetus and which crosses the placenta in small amounts. So with each pregnancy with a male fetus the woman is exposed more and produces more of these antibodies, until there are enough that the maternal antibodies attack the protein in the fetus, changing its development. This interpretation is speculative, as far as I know.)

  • Ginny

    I remember boycotting K-Mart! My mom told me it was because they funded abortions (which probably meant they gave money to Planned Parenthood or something.)

    I stopped buying Chick-Fil-A (with sadness, because they make my favorite fast-food breakfast) when I found out they were funding anti-gay groups. To me it was a simple decision: I didn’t want a fraction of a penny of my money going to support a cause I hated so much. All the furore is a little weird to me, and from my facebook friends’ statuses, I’m not sure all of them understand the issue either. Some of my liberal friends have made comments like, “Who cares what Dan Cathy thinks or what he does with his private money?” suggesting that they’re not aware, in spite of the slurry of discussion, that it is Chick-Fil-A money going to fund these groups. So I think the message has gotten a bit lost for some people.

    • machintelligence

      The message is not being lost, it has been reframed by the conservatives to miss the point. This is a common tactic of theirs. Remember when Romney’s wife was criticized for holding forth on labor issues when “she had never worked a day in her life” (meaning she had never been gainfully employed). In spite of the fact that this was a true statement, the Republicans spun it to mean that raising children was not considered work by the Democrats. You can easily find more examples if you look.

      • Judy L.

        Which is ironic, given the Republican attitude that poor women who stay at home to raise children need to get jobs so they can learn the “dignity of work”.

  • mostlylurking

    I’m not saying that bigots can never change, just that whatever we do, we can’t MAKE them change by words or action. But we can create an environment for change by supporting gays and other marginalized groups.

  • smrnda

    Wilson comments that being gay isn’t like being Black because ‘it’s sinful,’ and he goes on to equate being gay with other things like compulsive gambling. This guy seems to fail to understand that you can make a utilitarian case against a lot of things being okay, like theft, but there’s really no good utilitarian case against being gay. Wilson should be prepared to actually explain why being gay is as bad as some other thing – the burden of proof should be on him.

    I mean, NOT being a Christian is sinful, so is it okay for people to discriminate against non-Christians in this regard? I’d say a lot of Christians would probably say Yes, but then they would whine if it happened to them.

  • Christine

    Boycotts, like any other classical form of non-violent resistance, only work well in certain cases. They are extremely effective when a large portion of the population engages in them. (This is part of why they’re so popular with conflict studies types – it’s very difficult to have a tyrannical boycott). One of the most effective tricks that I’ve heard from the right is to dismiss any action for social change aside from voting (and maybe running for office) as being ineffective and the realm of spoiled individuals, who don’t get how things work. Therefore not enough people are willing to participate in, and of course they’ll never work.

    That being said, boycotting companies that take anti-LGBTQ stances is probably a good idea. It might not be enough to run them out of business, but it will (hopefully) counter any extra business they might have from people who want to support this stance. Same thing with businesses (like Starbucks) that come out against discrimination. If the only change in their business is that they have a small boycott, there is indeed a small penalty to them taking a stand. If the small boycott is balanced by a small increase in business, there is no penalty.

    That being said, it’s not just atheists who wonder if the evangelicals you discuss here ever read their bibles. I know that your “Raised Quiverfull” participants had all read through the Bible, multiple times even, but if none of them seem to remember the parable of the two sons, it’s difficult for more us more mainstream Christians to believe that the super conservative ones have much familiarity with the contents of the Bible. (We take it as a given that they don’t know a lot about where it came from. Bible knowledge quizes with questions like “Who wrote the first five books of the Bible?” (answer: Moses) really make that viewpoint the easiest one.)

  • Vixi Dragon

    I think the more important point (as Libby mentioned) is not the views of the company’s leadership. Mr. Cathy is welcome to support whatever causes he likes, but if company profits are being used to finance political causes . . . Then the company needs to be up front about it. Post the list of political groups that profits go to fund (just like they do with charities) so that consumers have the option to decide BEFORE they spend their money. Chick-fil-A isn’t going to miss my money, but I don’t have to contribute.

  • Ray

    While boycotting isn’t as effective as it once was, it still can make a change in the long run. It won’t change someone’s ideology, but it can help from having it cemented in someone who is maturing that this is what true, good, right, and golden from the groups they support (and that this line of thinking is social acceptable).
    I always get confused on when people say they are promoting free speech and that people are censoring or attacking it. Yes, they can state whatever they want, but it doesn’t give them a freepass from not being criticized over it. They can state something as inane as “the sky is red” and I can say “You need to get your vision checked.” in response. However it’ll look ridiculous if they respond with “You just don’t like that I am right! You are denying my civil rights as a citizen from saying what is true.” and in a way they could be seen as attacking my right to free speech because I used it to say “No, you’re wrong… and I think something is up with your eyes if you’re seeing blue as red.”

    • Besomyka

      The issue of free speech and the boycott is the decision that money == speech. In effect, CFA is using my speech in the from of a few cents on the sandwich I (only hypothetically) buy, in order to express an opinion that I not only don’t agree with, but is directly and personally harmful to me.

      I agree with Libby and some other commenters here: if it was just the stance, I’d disagree, but fine. Or if he was only using some fixed salary for which he performs unobjectionable work, then I would speak out against HIM, but not the company.

      The fact is, however, that this is a privately held company and it is the company’s successes that are being used to fund this ‘speech’. Know that when you give them money, whether you intend or not, you are actively speaking out against my rights as a US Citizen, and helping to incite hate and create dangerous places for me.

      I will not be that self-destructive.

      • Ray

        To be honest, I don’t really understand your comment to my post.
        I’m not against the boycott. Far from it, I’m just saying it’s hard to be effective since they can be organizational problems and the general public can be apathetic. Especially since a company like Chick-Fil-A might have oversea properties where the call to boycott might not be heard. Depending on the precentage, the effect the boycott might not be as great as everyone boycotting wants it to be (I’m not truly boycott since I never ate there and I don’t know where they are).
        My little babble about freedom of speech is just a general observation I notice from time to time. It fits in the whole “everyone who is saying that you are wrong is against you” mindset.
        Plus, after a few failed boycotts I’m just jaded about how effective they can be.

  • Karen

    I doubt that the boycott will have a negative effect on Chic-fil-a’s bottom line; they’re getting a lot of support from conservative Christians. For every boycotter there’s probably someone who supports the company’s anti-LGBT actions and will go out of their way to eat there. That’s certainly true among my tea-partying relatives.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot JW

    What is amusing is who is doing the boycotting here? I call it the Bully doing the boycotting and thus the reason why Chick fila is getting all this business. It is just a show of support that while the homosexual crowd is raising its fist at traditional marriage along with grabbing a few cities along the way to support them there is still the quieter crowd who shows it supports for traditional marriage.

    If they were not so vocal in their disdain for this this day would not be happening as it is so while the homosexual crowd is protesting against it as in a BOYCOTT the traditional marriage crowd is raising their voice by using this day to support it.

    I drove by my local place and cars were lines up to the streets at both entrances. It tells me that while we seem to her more progressive on tv there is still a crowd out there who doesn’t agree with homosexuals being married. My theme song for this is Bully by Shinedown


    • Petticoat Philosopher

      The term “traditional marriage” is so meaningless, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re on about but I’ll try. If you mean “heterosexual” then it’s just completely untrue that gay people have a problem with heterosexual marriage. Do you seriously think that gay people don’t want any straight people to get married? All they want is what WE already have. That’s about as traditional as it gets.

      And you are right, there ARE still people who think that marriage equality is going to be the downfall of human society or some such ridiculousness. Although all the data shows that this view is falling out of favor, especially among the younger generations. So, whatever, let there be lines out to the street at the entrances if Chick Fil A. If stuffing themselves with fast food chicken sandwiches makes the bigots feel a little better about the fact that they’re losing this ridiculous ideological battle, they’re welcome to them.

    • BabyRaptor

      So I’m a bully for refusing to spend money at a place that actively fights to deny me rights. I’m a bully for deciding that I’m not obligated to give my money to a company that regularly lies about me and fights against my being treated as a human.

      Let me break this down even further: I’m a bully for deciding where I get to spend my own money. And CFA apparently ISN’T a bully, even though they’re acting to deny people legally given freedoms.

      Please think about that and then come back and explain to me how it makes ANY sense.

    • Christine

      If this was about wanting to defend “traditional marriage”, then how come I never hear anyone complaining about having to recognize civil marriage? If church marriage is taken as the basis, civil law regarding marriage makes it clear that this is a joke.

      Frankly, it seems really backwards for conservative churches to be protesting same-sex marriage. You’d think that they’d be bending over backwards to avoid suggesting that the civil definition of marriage meant anything at all.

  • Mostlylurking

    Yep, it is definitely those who fights to gain the same rights as everyone around them who are the bullies! Poor, poor oppressed Christofacists! won’t somebody please think of them, how awfully this group is being bullied by gays wanting to marry?

    • Paula G V aka Yukimi

      Yes, really funny how the majority, with all the rights and all the privilege shout bully or oppressed, but of course they are divorced of reality so it’s no surprise. The moment I saw it was JW posting in this topic I knew exactly what he was going to say.

  • tekanji

    Second, I think the biggest hangup between the pro- and anti-gay-rights crowds is the question of whether people are naturally born gay or whether being gay is simply a sin anyone can indulge in, like theft.

    First of all, and this is a pet peeve of mine, marriage equality isn’t just about “gay” rights. I identify as pansexual (ie. gender is not related to who I find sexually/romantically attractive), not as gay, but antipathy towards same-sex attraction/relationships/rights/etc affects me as well. It may seem like I’m nitpicking semantics, but it is incredibly hurtful to be continually erased from the issues that affect me (which, unfortunately, many prominent GLBT/LGBT groups do to anyone who isn’t cis, white, and homosexual).

    Anyway, about the dichotomy you set up between homosexuality as innate (the “pro-gay” position) versus a choice/”sin” (the “anti-gay” position). I can’t speak to the latter, but as to the former that’s not really an accurate representation of how the queer community views sexuality. Yes, many people view sexuality as innate, full stop (I have mostly seen this expressed by people who ID strictly as homosexual, but ymmv). However, many of us see sexuality as more fluid, and thus something that can be a choice. I don’t claim to understand the hows or whys behind being a person being queer by choice (of course, I don’t really understand being monosexual, either), but I know that they exist and I respect their experiences and orientation, just as I ask people to respect mine.

    The tl;dr version: The queer community does not have a consensus on sexual orientation being purely innate; some think that way, others believe that sexuality is on a fluid spectrum, one that includes both innate sexuality as well as choice.

    • Ray

      I noticed this also with all the studies on homosexuality that they usually do not take not of homosexual women and the entire spectrum of sexuality (bisexual here). Of course there are also problems in the LGBTQ (oh man, there are so many that it makes me sad) with classification and labels (because humans want to define themselves by a word even if that word we use becomes something else), but it sad that scientist tend to just focus on the part of a population and using that data to cover all of population.

    • Judy L.

      I totally respect your pan-sexuality, really, I do. But gay has come to be short-hand for queer, with queer embracing the pantheon of the LGBTQQ-alphabet soup that is our constellation of sexuality and gender (I don’t think of it as a spectrum or a cline, as that is far too linear and directional. Sexuality and gender are emergent properties, multi-faceted, and temporally and relationally dependent…but discussion of civil rights really doesn’t benefit from academic language or deep, philosophical analysis of sexuality and gender).

      Framing the pursuit of equal marriage as the pursuit of gay marriage really isn’t a problem, because once the rights of gay couples to marry are recognized, then marriage law becomes inclusive for all adult couples (and yes, we’ve decided, for many reasons, and usually those reasons are to protect the sexual and religious exploitation and oppression of woman and girl-children, that marriage is a union between two people that creates the specific legal kinship relationship of spouse for those two people).

      The biggest problem the debate about whether homosexuality is a choice or a biological fact poses is that it distracts everybody and allows the anti-gay brigades to avoid having to fess up about the true nature of their bigotry. The “is it a choice” debate is a non-issue. The anti-gay forces couldn’t care less, because their attitude and belief that gay and trans people are, at best, second-class citizens, and that their relationships are of less value than, say, Kim Kardashian’s 72-day heterosexual marriage, aren’t based on any kind of reason or rationalized intuition, they’re simply based on hate and fear and prejudice and a sense of self-righteous superiority. Hating or disapproving of gay people is irrational, and actively trying to restrict their freedoms, strip them of rights, or getting discriminatory policies against them written into law, is hateful, bigoted behaviour.

      • tekanji

        Frankly, Judy L., you ‘splaining to me about how I’m not really being erased because “gay” is a short-hand for queer is the opposite of respecting my sexual orientation because it tells me that my experience of the word “gay” as a pansexual woman doesn’t count.

        You do not get to frame my experiences. You do not get to tell me what I experience as oppression is not really oppression because you see a homosexual-normative word as all-inclusive. You don’t get to decide that framing the debate as “gay marriage” isn’t a problem because the end result is more inclusive than just gay couples. Your response perpetuates the erasure of the non-”G” identities in the queer community and drives home, yet again, that I am considered a second class citizen in my own community.

  • smrnda

    JW, let me explain something to you.

    If I build a temple to Zeus, it would get the same legal recognition as a Christian church. In no way does constructing a temple to an alternate deity infringe in any way on the rights of Christians.

    Allowing same sex couples to marry does nothing to prevent people who believe in ‘traditional marriage’ to choose to live according to their beliefs. However, denying gay people the right to marry means that the ‘traditional’ folks get what they want, and everybody else gets pissed an shat on.

    As for homosexuals being ‘the bullies,’ I hear this hiss-fit all the time. Apparently Christians aren’t happy unless everybody has to give lip service to their beliefs and until our legal system grants them privileged status.

    The US has more backwards, idiotic people than about any other industrialized nation, so it’s no wonder a company with backwards and regressive social values like Chick-fil-A might get some support here. Just getting numbers up isn’t very impressive, and it doesn’t imply anyone is right.

  • veganatheist01

    I think the question of whether someone is born homosexual or becomes/chooses to be homosexual is beside the point. I stopped believing that homosexuality is wrong even before I stopped believing it’s purely a choice, simply because there is nothing wrong with being homosexual – it doesn’t hurt or negatively affect anybody. If people can be happy in homosexual relationships, why does it matter whether it’s chosen or not? There’s obviously nothing bad about it.

  • Judy L.

    This is, I think, the best summation of the whole Chick-Fil-A discussion.

    Oh, and Christianity is a LIFESTYLE CHOICE. Even if you believe that people are born Christian, being an open, practicing Christian is a choice…so does that mean it’s okay to discriminate against Christians who openly flaunt and practice their Christianity outside the privacy of their own homes?

  • sarahbee

    I am getting to this article kind of late but I wanted to thank you for such an elegant argument. These are some excellent points which I feel really add to the debate. Thank-you Libby Anne!

  • Kellen

    … there’s only so much stupid a person can absorb before having to whang themselves on the head with a hammer. (And also because I loathe businesses founded upon the idea that illiteracy is charming.)”

    … I…… I………… I’m sorry, I just love that statement. On its own, I mean. And I’m not just saying that because I had to work at a Chick-fil-A for two years to make ends meet, and now all their food tastes like my sweat and tears. I hated those cows WAY before I realized I was gay, for exactly that reason.