Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer

This Is Not About a Difference of Opinion

Filed By Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer | July 31, 2012 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media, Politics
Tags: American hate groups, boycotts, Chick-fil-A boycott, Dan Cathy, ex-gay, free speech

Will-Chicken-Equality-March.jpgEveryone is talking about Chick-fil-A. People can't shut up about it. That and "Call Me Maybe" - which, I don't know - I like a shiny pop song as much as the next homosexual but do people really think that guy is sexy? He's like a focus group version of sexy. My G.I. Joe doll when I was 12 was sexier than that guy.

But anyway, Chick-fil-A.

And I should even preface this harangue by saying that I have very mixed feelings about these boycotts. I thought the recent Target boycott was the pinnacle of beside the point - "I'm gonna buy my plastic sweatshop crap from Walmart instead of Target for 2 weeks. That'll show 'em."

These boycotts satisfy an emotional need to express disapproval (I have to say I still feel a little ashamed of myself whenever I buy a coffee at Starbucks, but now that I'm back in New York, I find it hard to avoid), but in the end I wonder if it isn't mostly an empty protest.

So you get your chicken sandwich at Wendy's this month and feel really good about yourself. You still get your chicken sandwich, and as a bonus you get a sense of having participated without even having to spend ten minutes writing a letter to your congresswoman, march in a protest rally, escort women into a Planned Parenthood clinic through throngs of anti-abortion lunatics, or get arrested for civil disobedience.

But something really coalesced for me when the mayors of Boston and Chicago told Chick-fil-A they weren't welcome in their cities, and then came the flood of liberal clucking about free speech.

This is not a culture war debate. This is not about someone's right to express his "beliefs." It's not about someone's politics or religion.

It IS about pushing back against someone who publicly supports, with his words and money, organizations whose mission it is to persecute a group of people.

Dan Cathy is entitled to his views on same-sex marriage, and, yes, opposition to same-sex marriage is a political view. But c'mon people. Of course he's against same-sex marriage, but he's just talking about marriage right now because that's the issue on the table.

Cathy believes that homosexuals should not exist and that LGBT teenagers should be sent to camps to be shamed into believing that their deepest human feelings of desire, affection, and love are illegitimate. He believes that children should be rounded up, separated from their families, and subjected to a pseudo-scientific treatment that results in psychological and emotional damage that lasts a lifetime.

He believes in disseminating lies about sexuality in order to influence legislation - lies which the Southern Poverty Law Center says "almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at the LGBT community, which is more targeted for such attacks than any other minority group in America."

Believing that a whole group of people should be beaten, imprisoned, and brainwashed - and supporting organizations whose mission it is to carry out this agenda - is not a political belief. These people are a menace. They are criminals. And - I probably shouldn't use this word, but it used to mean something besides "Muslim" - they are terrorists - and I don't see any reason why a city or state should not be allowed to say, "If you support these organizations, you are not welcome to do business here." The mayors of Chicago and Boston are not denying someone free speech, they're taking a moral stand.

Did these same so-called liberals who are now crying "free speech!" scold the many American city and state governments that divested in companies doing business with South Africa in the 1980s? Did they complain that economic pressure by a city government was an overreach then?

Calm down. I'm not saying that a fast food chain is equivalent to the South African government. I'm saying there is a difference between political and religious beliefs (I think people should have the right to believe whatever bullshit they want to believe) and actively working to do harm to a group of people. Focus on the Family, the National Organization for Marriage, Exodus Ministries, and the rest, do work that doesn't just disenfranchise LGBT people, invalidate their relationships, and attempt to eradicate their identities, it directly contributes to gay-bashing, teen homelessness, and suicide.

I don't want them or their supporters anywhere near me.


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