“It’s bigger than that. I support equal rights. Period.”
August 9, 2012 2 Comments
One of the latest controversies to spark the little world of social politics lately is american fast food chain Chick-fil-a – which, as you’ve guessed, specialises in chicken sandwiches – has been found to donate money to anti-gay marriage and anti-homosexuality institutions, such as the extremely opinionated Focus on the Family. As soon as the information leaked out, calls to boycott the chain have been made, in order to let their powers to be know that the world of chicken eaters wouldn’t have it with homophobia. But what happens when one makes such an open statement on the issue of gay marriage? Where does free speech ends and where does it begin? The strange experience of being seemingly wrong when thinking one is right has happened to our friend Sara Goodman, blogger at Sara*ndipity, here sharing her experience.
I am full of hatred and phobia.
Because, silly me, I actually believe that all people deserve the same rights regardless of sexual orientation. And according to a comment on the blog I wrote earlier this week about Chick-fil-A, that means that I am the one who is full of hatred and phobia.
Makes perfect sense.
In CRAZY WORLD.
“I know it comes as no surprise to anyone that the ultra-liberal Jewish Democrat over here supports gay marriage, but it’s bigger than that. I support equal rights. Period.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve come up against this kind of illogical accusation. I’m a high school English teacher who sponsors a school newspaper, and I was once called racist for running a picture of a pregnant student alongside an article on teen pregnancy. The girl was over 18, knew what her picture was being used for, and had given us written consent to use her picture in connection with the story, which neither glorified nor condemned pregnant teenagers.
But because she was black, I was a racist.
Except the problem was that she wasn’t black; she was Asian. And I’m pretty sure there is no stereotype against pregnant Asian teenagers.
I pointed this out to my accuser, who, without missing a beat, told me that the picture was too dark, so she LOOKED black, which nevertheless made me racist.
I’m still trying to figure that one out.
What I’ve learned, however, is that oftentimes, when you’re accused of something and it seems completely out of left field, you should examine your actions. And if that doesn’t yield any logical results, check to see if your accuser is a complete nut job who is just calling you names because he or she disagrees with you.
But Sara, when you call someone a “complete nut job,” aren’t you just engaging in the same behavior that you’re arguing against?
In this case, no. I hate to break it to you if you’re one of the people who wants to make the biggest fuss in the world about the definition of marriage, but you’re just blatantly wrong in this case.
I know it comes as no surprise to anyone that the ultra-liberal Jewish Democrat over here supports gay marriage, but it’s bigger than that. I support equal rights. Period. Whether you’re straight, gay, white, black, Jewish, or hell, even Scientologist (crazy as I think they are), you deserve the same rights as everyone else in this country.
“Enjoy your waffle fries. But don’t expect to see me there any time soon.”
To an extent, I understand why people would be anti-gay marriage if they’re also racist. It’s not right, but if they’re against equal rights across the board, it makes sense. What I don’t understand is how people who would NEVER argue that black people deserve fewer rights than white people can argue that gay people deserve fewer rights than straight people.
No one “chooses” to be gay any more than anyone chooses his or her race. (Is it still too soon to make jokes about Michael Jackson? Because he kind of did go from black to white. But he’s the exception, not the rule.) And if you believe that they do, please tell me when you chose to be straight. I’m about as heterosexual as they come, but I don’t remember deciding, “Hmm, I think I’ll pick boys instead of girls to be attracted to.”
Which brings us to the point that I was making in my blog: You can eat at Chick-fil-A all you want, but you need to know that if you do, a fraction of the money you spend is going to groups that oppose equal rights. If you’re cool with that, then enjoy your waffle fries. But don’t expect to see me there any time soon.
I also understand that there’s a certain level of hypocrisy in everyone boycotting Chick-fil-A. If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the Condescending Wonka meme asking when you’re going to stop using oil because OPEC supports groups that put homosexuals to death in the Middle East. And no, I didn’t run out to buy an electric car because of that. But OPEC also isn’t restricting equal rights here. I live in a liberal state where gay marriage still, inexplicably, isn’t legal. If the owner of Chick-fil-A wants to keep it from becoming legal, I’d rather spend my money at Popeyes (whose fries I like better anyway… I think they’re coated in crack along with those delicious Cajun spices.).
If that makes me a bigot in some people’s eyes, well, so be it. I’m happy to argue for equal rights until my dying day, but I’m not going to fight to defend myself against the names that people want to call me for that. Because as my dad is fond of saying, “You can’t argue with crazy, because crazy does what crazy wants.”
Plus, Kermit the Frog agrees with me, and I’d rather have his approval than the approval of someone who thinks that sexual orientation determines the rights a person deserves.
Sara Goodman is an author, blogger, and high school teacher from Rockville, Maryland. Her opinions have been featured in local newspapers and on the web. She guest spots at the OISC on social issues. Follow her on Twitter @saraegoodman.