Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Giving the bird to that chicken place

I’ve had a hard time seeing people I know participating in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.  In fact, it has made me incredibly angry to see people all over this country flocking to support a company whose owner has contributed so much money to organizations who want to deny me rights. 

I know…it’s nothing personal, right?  They probably all have gay friends.  Or maybe not. 

Anyway, rather than stew about it, I thought I should write my feelings down.  And since I have a blog, I could share them.

Do I think a boycott is going to really accomplish anything?  I don’t really know.  I can’t truly participate because there isn’t a Chick-fil-A where I live.  It certainly won’t do much, if any, harm to the owner, the man who contributed all that money to anti-gay organizations.

Some gay Republicans call for calm.  They believe that all the boycott does is make the gays look like cry babies.  That all it does is further polarize the sides of this issue.  

Some pro-gay marriage people say that boycotting the restaurants unduly penalizes the people who work in those restaurants to support their families. 

Some people ask their gay friends not to condemn them for liking Chick-fil-A food…they love their gay friends, but they can’t deny themselves the deliciousness. 

I agree that there is some validity to all the arguments I’ve seen.  

Still, I have a really hard time supporting any organization that, at the top, wants to deny people rights. 

The company may very well employ gay people.  They, I am sure, serve them (though perhaps there are fewer now than there once was).  

I would venture to guess that very few of the people who participated in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in support of the company have had rights denied them.  

What really hurts, what really makes me angry, is the fact that at least one of those customers bought a sandwich today because they agree with the head of the company.  Someone out there in the US bought a sandwich because they want to deny me the right to marry the woman I love. 

How can I not take that personally?  How can I not be wounded by that? 

I lived on the straight side of the fence for 14 years.  I was lucky enough to have been married to a man who was kind and gracious when I told him I needed to leave because I wasn’t happy and knew I couldn’t make him happy. 

Now that I am happy and am with the love of my life, I am denied the same rights and protections I had when I was unhappy. 

Still, I have hope.  In November, the people of my state will vote on marriage equality.  I have hope that we will be the first state to pass the legislation in the popular vote. 

In November, I will vote for the right for gays to marry.

But for now, for today, I can choose not to support those businesses that are run by bigots.