A “kiss-in” has been planned for today at Chick-Fil-A stores across the country in response to the wildly successful Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day two days ago. The “kiss-in” organized by gay rights activists has already drawn media attention. One such story (link changed to new source) caught my eye because of the quotes attributed to Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Before I address the quote, I will point out that I have no problem with the “kiss-in”, if that’s how those folks want to express their views. This response further confirms the success of the “Appreciation Day” earlier this week, and they’ll have a very hard time matching it.
What bothers me about this whole controversy isn’t that gay rights individuals are upset at Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy. It isn’t that they believe in gay marriage – although I believe marriage is and always should be between two sexually-compatible persons.
It IS the blanket and thoughtless categorizations by many in the LGBT community (and their straight sympathizers) in their descriptions of conjugal marriage supporters as “hateful” and “bigots”, to mention a couple.
Here’s the quote:
“Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs,” Herndon Graddick, president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said in a statement.
“But he should meet and get to know the people that he’s speaking out against – the people who are harmed by his company’s multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families,” Graddick said.
I’m glad Mr. Graddick thinks Dan Cathy has a right to his opinion. But then he goes on to insinuate that Dan Cathy is either ignorant of or doesn’t care about the well-being of LGBT Americans. How in the world can Graddick make those comments without knowing Dan Cathy? Is it an automatic, knee-jerk reaction toward those who believe in the ages-old, traditional definition of marriage? Sure seems like it.
Graddick should – must – know that Chick-Fil-A has a long-standing reputation for excellent customer service and treating all their employees with dignity and respect. Those “anti-gay hate groups” Graddick refers to are also in the same category. This gets ignored every time the issue pops up.
Here’s the underlying problem: When the debate shifts away from respectfully discussing the merits of traditional vs. redefined marriage based on reason and logic and turns into name-calling and baseless accusations, that’s when I draw the line. Anyone who thinks that the vast majority of traditional marriage supporters are “homophobic” and “bigots” are worse than clueless. They are willfully ignorant to their own hate, intolerance and bigotry.
That’s not even the worst of it. This attitude is lurching our society closer and closer to a very disturbing period – one in which a redefinition of marriage will lead to unjust discrimination and marginalization of traditional marriage supporters. It doesn’t matter if equating gay marriage rights to basic civil rights is total bunk. Once the powers-that-be buy into that mindset, it’s only a matter of time before individuals and organizations start being punished and ostracized for their beliefs.
Mark my words. I hope I’m wrong.
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