Opinions have consequences… a few words regarding gay rights, freedom of speech, and Chick-fil-A

Kermit stands for what is right...

Seeing how I began this blog after a number of arguments with people over my extreme opposition to Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage bill here in California, I figured that I couldn’t let this whole Chick-fil-A brouhaha go without at least a few words regarding what has been going on.

In the event you have been living under a rock or have been backpacking in the great wilds for the last couple of months, you may not know what it is I am referring to.  Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, gave an interview with the Baptist Press and later spoke on a Christian radio program where he expressed his personal opposition to gay marriage and his company’s belief in traditional heterosexual marriage. 

Since that time, many LBGT groups and gay friendly people around the country have stated their intention to boycott the company for these views… and staying true to Newton’s third law of motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, conservatives are gearing up to have a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day and have made quite the kerfuffle in claiming first amendment rights to free speech.

For starters, let’s get the first amendment out of the way.  The first amendment states that the government cannot restrict your free speech.  Dan Cathy can legally say whatever in the hell he wants to and the government cannot abridge what he says and cannot take any legal action unless he is yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.  The government has done nothing to stifle Mr. Cathy’s speech. 

Personally, I don’t even know where there is a Chick-fil-A anywhere near where I live.  The last Chick-fil-A I recall seeing was in Cerritos Mall in southern California as a kid… and I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years.  I do not have a horse in this race… but I stand behind those who wish to boycott.  That is also their right.

A quick recap… Mr. Cathy has the right to say what he wants… those who don’t like what he said have the right to not purchase his product.  That’s basically it.

Many conservatives are upset because they think that the Jim Henson Company pulling out of their promotional toy campaign at Chick-fil-A seems to represent some sort of oppression by those who disagree with what many view as bigoted statements by the owner of this private company… that they are somehow against the American entrepreneurial system as a whole because they don’t wish to have Kermit the Frog associated with a company that puts its’ money towards anti-gay causes.  I don’t imagine Mr. Cathy or these conservatives who oppose gay marriage and gay rights in general have an actual clue as to what oppression is… ask any gay or lesbian couple in California who had their legal marriages rescinded by the state, and by their fellow Californians, what oppression is.  Ask a teacher who has had to stay in the closet for fear of losing their job what oppression is.  Ask someone who had to live in the closet while serving their country in the military what oppression is.  Ask a teenager who has been bullied and beaten on for the crime of being themselves what oppression is.  Exactly how is Mr. Cathy being oppressed? 

Allow me to reiterate… Dan Cathy and every other bigoted asshole in this country has the right to say what they want… but they do not have the right to call foul when their comments or actions generate negative reactions.  It is also the right of patrons to allow their money (which in light of the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision is now equated with speech), or lack thereof, to speak for their positions as well.  Nobody’s rights have been trampled… the constitution has not been besmirched… but the reputation of Mr. Cathy and those who are fiercely supporting his position are tarnished.  Those who supported Prop 8 here in California, in my eyes (key point), are tarnished.  They are fouled with the age old problem of prejudice and bigotry… and if saying these things under the banner of God, they are being horribly judgmental and hypocritical… grievous sins in their very own canon.

Say what you will… but don’t be shocked when there are consequences… and don’t start whining about your rights… for those who have limited rights thanks to their sexual orientation, your complaints sound petty, shrill, and down right mean-spirited.  For those of you who wish to support Chick-fil-A, my apologies for not joining you…

Love has no orientation,
Cornelius J. Blahg

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