Friday, July 27, 2012

Can I Love LGBTs & Chick-Fil-A?

I've been doing some soul searching after reading comments, posts, & rants from friends & acquaintances on both sides of the political issue.

I don't love Dan Cathy and his multi-million dollar support for organizations that actively work to deny civil rights to a minority group in this country. I don't love that Dan Cathy supports organizations that attempt to "turn" gays & lesbians straight.

For what it's worth, whenever someone says "traditional marriage," I immediately think about sister wives, not legally owning property, & not being allowed in public without a male escort. I also think about how "traditional marriages" allowed men to beat their wives if they felt it was necessary. Personally, I don't want anything to do with a traditional marriage but I guess some people are into that lifestyle.

On the flipside, I do like what I have seen firsthand of local Chick-Fil-As supporting community activities, youth programs (secular & religious), local scholarships, etc. I've never known of discriminatory hiring practices (not saying it hasn't happened ever) or of Chick-Fil-A refusing to serve someone because of their sexual orientation.

I also don't participate in boycotts. Chick-Fil-A isn't the first business (or STATE) I've been encouraged to boycott because of beliefs I disagree with. I didn't boycott them, either. Boycotts are not how I engage my time to foment change. Partly because I don't see them as being effective with extremely large corporations and partly because I'm lazy. For example, I'd love to boycott all things Monsanto but I don't feel like researching every single company Monsanto dirties.

When I want to see change, I take action in other ways. Physically. I have traveled to state capitals to protest issues. I have involved myself with letter writing campaigns to representatives. I have spoken out publicly with the news media (in high school even!) and now through social media forums that are readily available to anyone with a computer or a smart phone. I have stomped the pavement with like minded individuals and I never miss an election.

Enough justification

If not participating in a boycott against Chick-Fil-A sullies your opinion of me, I'm sorry. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about civil rights & equality. If this one boycott negates every thing else I do & have done, that says more about you than it does about me. A lot of people know that this isn't the first popular boycott that I haven't participated in and I can guarantee it won't be the last.

As for everyone protesting Dan Cathy & the organizations he supports by participating in this boycott, good luck. I mean that in all sincerity. I truly believe our nation is on the cusp of granting civil rights to all. If this boycott merely helps more people get involved in the discussion of civil rights versus personal religious beliefs, it will be a success on at least one level.

In the meantime, am I going to continue shouting from the rooftops my love for the banana pudding milkshake? No. I'll shut up about that. I'll eat my milkshake in silence. Possibly while wearing a PRIDE shirt.
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