Free Speech, Chick-fil-A, and Rights

I am bisexual. I am polyamorous. I support LGBT rights. I support the right to marry who we choose. I stand on the side of love, not discrimination. I am not Christian. In fact, I am an ex-Christian. I do understand why Chick-fil-A as a Christian business is supporting Christian organisations as a matter of corporate policy. But as an individual and as a consumer in a capitalistic society with the principles of free speech and democracy I have a stake in this issue.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a company, with people who feel they will not be called to account for their actions when it grievously injures individuals. There is something wrong when a company can wrap themselves in religious pride for support, almost insuring no critical examination of the issue by the very religious body they claim. There is something wrong when a group of people speaking out against discrimination is accused of discrimination when the issue is based on active promotion of discrimination.

The whole Chick-fil-A debacle is a gigantic mess. I’ve boycotted the company on a personal level for years. That was nothing more than me using what economic power I have. I don’t patron Christian business, not even a fast food chain. This is in itself a natural part of the marketplace. Even when I was a Christian I would not have given such business any of my business on theological grounds. This aspect has not changed for me.

When the news that the Jim Henson’s Muppets toys was pulled from Chick-fil-A do to their support for Marriage Equality, I cheered for the Jim Henson Company. Reading the back and forth arguments over this action has shown me the drastic discrimination that the LGBT community faces each day. Reading comments from strangers arguing over these issues is disheartening. The sheer amount of hate, rage, discrimination and misinformation is boggling.

Facebook exploded with support for the Muppets, for LGBT Rights, for the right to marry who we choose when this story broke. Then the second wave came out; of support for Chick-fil-A, of supporting “traditional” marriage and the rhetoric of the poor beleaguered and persecuted Christian. For me to see who among my friends supports that ideology which actively refuses and works to take away my rights; rights that I and others are still fighting to win, hurts. My dear friends support that which actively seeks injustice and it is this aspect that makes the issue of Chick-fil-A so hard not to take personally.

This issue has touched us all in different ways. Not all are supporting the boycott but are instead supporting Chick-fil-A for a variety of reasons, many of which I can barely understand. Some are standing in solidary with Christianity, some are standing against what they see as political correctness, some are standing by the notion that good food is good food and that their dollars don’t count in the larger scheme of things.

I don’t know how to make my boycott against Chick-fil-A any clearer. Chick-fil-A supports organisations that have an anti-gay discriminatory agenda and actively seeks to prevent same-sex marriages from becoming legal. I am bisexual and I am not legally allowed to marry who I choose. That alone causes me and those like me harm. That makes this issue very personal.

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About Isabella LeCour

She is nothing more than the collections of thoughts placed into the virtual worlds. She is a poet, a mother, a lover, many things to different people. But mostly, she is nothing but smoke and mirrors - some ethereal thing that blinks in an out of existence.
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