Chick-Fil-A Followup

A quick followup to yesterday’s post:

Hopefully, Dear Reader, you understood that this idea of “fighting hatred” by buying a bag of Oreos or eating a burrito was quite obviously Deliberate Facetiousness In The Service Of Humor.

And I’m not advocating boycotts, either. I don’t think they work. Furthermore, you’re only responsible for your own choices and you shouldn’t sign on to further someone else’s agendas. I also feel sorry for Chick-Fil-A franchisees. Most of them are neutral on the issue of same-sex marriage at minimum. It seems unfair that they now have to deal with blowback on an issue that has nothing to do with their ability to make and serve hot sandwiches. They have plenty of reason to be pretty damned pissed off at the actions of the company’s COO.

However.

The LGBT community has to deal with real hatred. Yup, the country has become far more accepting of nontraditional couples. But even though the majority of the populace accepts same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage (if polls can be believed), many such couples don’t dare hold hands when they walk down the street, except when they’re in places that are known to be LGBT-friendly. They’ve been forced to deal with pinheaded ignorance, open hostility, and the threat of violence all their lives. They have no idea if the person coming up towards them on the sidewalk is going to react to the sight of two men hugging by spitting on them…or by doing far, far worse. That’s the reality.

People like me can’t appreciate how fundamental that kind of disapproval is. I’m not the only straight person who’s been chased down a street by people shouting the word “faggot” at me and intending to do me bodily harm. But even during my worst month in junior high, I never ever for even a minute worried that maybe someone I don’t even know will take one look at me and immediately want to kick my ass just on principle. That’s the difference.

Secondly, the COO of Chick-Fil-A doesn’t get a free pass just because his actions and opinions are grounded in his religious beliefs.

But let’s rewind a bit. It’s important to point out that he actually doesn’t need to justify his beliefs at all. Not to me, not to Chick-Fil-A customers, not to anybody. He has every right to his opinion.

The problem isn’t that he has an unpopular opinion. The problem isn’t even that it’s an opinion that I happen to think is indefensible. The problem is that he’s actively trying to restrict other people’s rights. And that’s why this man needs to defend his choices.

The marriage of two gents or two ladies doesn’t affect his life one tiny bit. But: the millions of dollars he spends to ban same-sex marriage affects millions of lives directly. It hurts innocent people immensely.

Not having a legally-recognized relationship with your life partner can have devastating consequences during a medical emergency, during longterm care, and after death. The law protects spouses and ensures that they have rights in those situations, despite what their partners’ blood relatives might have to say. In many cases, same-sex partners are non-entities in the eyes of the state.

That’s the horrible state of affairs that the COO of Chick-Fil-A wishes to strengthen, extend, and perpetuate. While he and I are debating the subtle points about the definition of the word “family,” people out there are suffering, for real. For same-sex couples, this issue is anything but an abstract problem.

I’m going to avoid the larger issue of why someone doesn’t want to acknowledge a same-sex marriage. As you might guess, my opinions on that are strong and clear, but it’s a distraction from the central issue: if legalizing something won’t directly or indirectly affect your life one tiny bit, and making it illegal hurts people, then that’s the end of the discussion.

In truth, I grudgingly respect the COO of Chick-Fil-A for coming out and standing behind his beliefs. I don’t hate this man. How can I? I’ve never met him. But I’m certain that he’s wrong. And if I never want to step foot in a Chick-Fil-A, it’s not because I want to punish him for his beliefs. It’s only because I can’t see that brand and that logo without thinking about something nasty that will interfere with my enjoyment of a fast-food sandwich.


[Edited to add: BE POLITE in the comments, please. Make it about ideas and issues, not about personalities.]

99 thoughts on “Chick-Fil-A Followup”

  1. Chuck, I get subjected to other forms of bigotry — people assuming the worst stereotypes about me or who they percieve me to be just because I happen to disagree with their method of arguing their positions. Even when I haven’t given them such a handle to use against me. C’est la vie.

    For the record, I DONT have a problem with government recognized same-sex unions, I just disgree with the logical contortions some people go through to try to re-engineer the language and to redefine said unions to be the same as marriage. It only heightens the sense that perhaps they persist too strongly and therby weaken their own case.

  2. It used to be that interracial marriage was prohibited, and folks had viewed that as an important protection against social ills. Society didn’t implode after those prohibitions were stricken down. This was regarded as a redefinition of traditional marriage.

  3. “For the record, I DONT have a problem with government recognized same-sex unions, I just disgree with the logical contortions some people go through to try to re-engineer the language and to redefine said unions to be the same as marriage.”

    Separate but equal has never worked. Civil unions are not equal to marriage anymore than black schools were equal to white schools. In order to be truly equal, the same civic institution straights have access to needs to be made to gay people.

    When straight people go to the courthouse and get married with no involvement of god then the term “marriage” has ceased to be defined by the church and has become a secular civic institution. Its impossible to “redefine” marriage when it long ago ceased to mean what you think it should mean.

  4. Convoluted?

    Here’s what the federal government had to do and will have to do in order to recognize same-sex unions as some separate institution that is not marriage: they had to pass a law specifically denying that same-sex unions could be a marriage (done, although currently under strong Constitutional challenge), then they will have to design a new institution, select the rights and responsibilities that will go with that institution, and pass legislation to implement those.

    Here’s what the federal government would have had to have done to allow gay marriage: nothing.

    Which of those sounds convoluted to you? Because I know which one sounds convoluted to me. Barring the specific legal status of civil marriage from including two people of the same gender to avoid convolution makes about as much sense as barring wheelchairs from the “sidewalk” because rolling isn’t walking, and then having to set up an entire separate series of cement wheelchair paths to accomodate them.

  5. I am sorry some folks are so emotional about this, but you’re just not going to win the argument (at least not by my thinking) by attempting to change the language. And I’d dare say, others might come to the same conclusion from a logical standpoint.

    The term marriage has a long history of meaning behind it going back to the dawn of human civilization and beyond. And contrary to your assertion, it hasn’t ceased to mean the same thing, least of all long ago — only recently has anyone suggested extending the meaning beyond its basic context, and only then because of current political reasons. Language depends on a mutual contract between the speakers to agree on the meaning and contexts of words. Words, language, grammar does change over time, and so too does their meaning. But the longer a word exists or the meaning it represents remains in use, the more difficulty there will be to get everyone to accept the change. And Marriage has been around a very long time.

    Those who feel so strongly about this from a civil rights standpoint — which is, I suspect, why all the heat on this topic — would be better served approaching this from another avenue, by shoring up same-sex unions as its own institution.

    I just don’t see how you’re going to get around the hard fact that a squirrel is not a duck. Nor a duck a squirrel. And while they’re both animals, they’re not the same animal. And changing the names you use for each only leads to silliness. So make the laws about animals in general and not about ducks or squirrels.

    Also: at no point have I yet to bring “Church” into this — others did in making bold assumptions — nor have I stated where I stand in that part of the argument.

  6. “The term marriage has a long history of meaning behind it going back to the dawn of human civilization and beyond.”

    Nope. The term “marriage”, or even its Middle English version “mariage”, goes back fewer than 900 years.

  7. ” I just don’t see how you’re going to get around the hard fact that a squirrel is not a duck. Nor a duck a squirrel”

    A woman is not a man but that didn’t stop them from eventually being included in “the spirit of “all men are created equal”. Same with black people. History is full of people being included in definitions they were previously excluded from.

    You can play semantic games all you want and pretend marriage is still what is was back in the middle ages but the law is moving on with or without you. Society is changing and the interpretation of law is starting to change with it. This has become a matter of access to the same civil rights for all people. What you think God has to say about it is between you and your church, not my government and me.

  8. Great writing and excellent point Andy! We need more people in this world who think like you. Let everyone live their life and not interfere with others who wish to do the same. Next Macworld the burrito of your choice is on me!

  9. “The term “marriage”, or even its Middle English version “mariage”, goes back fewer than 900 years.”

    Actually, the word goes back even further into Latin, maritatre, and likely even earlier, back to PIE — the word may have changed but the meaning has remained wholly consistent for much of that history.

    Still, even at 900 years that would be a long time for precedence to outweigh changing its meaning just to suit someone’s poor remedy to resolve a perceived injustice.

    But then, who started this game of semantics in the first place?

  10. Andy

    THANK YOU for saying what I think and believe but am unable to put into words the way that you have.

  11. “Actually, the word goes back even further into Latin, maritatre,”

    Why yes, that would be what we call “a different word”. Not even the same meaning (marriage is a noun, maritatre is a verb)… and the institution it represented was quite different than marriage as we understand it today. And “marriage” has long had a range of definitions – or are we going to outlaw an inventor coming up with a marriage of comfort and convenience until we decided which of those two is the male? This use of marriage currently under discussion – a legal status granted by the state – has a much shorter history.

    There used to be a juggler who, in his act, announced that he was juggling George Washington’s famous ax… the exact same ax as he had used to cut down the cherry tree. “Only the blade has been replaced,” he explained. “And the handle. But it takes up the exact same space as his ax!” You seem to be trying to protect George Washington’s ax here.

  12. @Nat,
    I’m not the one who’s trying to say that George Washinton’s screwdriver should also be called an axe.

  13. “Actually, the word goes back even further into Latin, maritatre, and likely even earlier, back to PIE — the word may have changed but the meaning has remained wholly consistent for much of that history.”

    I don’t give a flip about the history of the word and neither does the law. All that matters is how the word is defined on the books.

    Legal terms live on their own. If the word “marriage: could magically be replaced in every law book and every contractual instance with the term “secular romantic contract” I wouldn’t care. As long as ALL citizens were given access to the same contract. Inventing a separate contract for gay people because the law happens to use a word you think you and your God should control is glib and dismissive of the struggles of gay families.

    You are going to have to accept that you don’t control the meaning of the word. It has entered the realm of civil rights which means your god have no say in its definition outside your church doors.

  14. Rebecca, I couldn’t agree more. As a Christian my biggest peeve is that many Christians conveniently forget that Christ’s message was one of love. How many Christians 50 plus years ago supported segregation? And would attempt to find something in the bible to support their position. Why should a Christian be put off by love. Christ wasn’t.

  15. To be clear, I am 100% pro-gay marriage.

    That said, a few nitpicks:

    1.) The man “came out” against gay-marriage because he was talking to an interviewer who asked him the question directly and would not move on. It wasn’t his decision to make this into an issue nor is it in any way a guiding policy of the company as far as anyone knows. He was asked what he personally believes and answered what he has believes his religious faith asks of him.

    2.) I’m not debating that homophobia still exists, but I think we have to get past the idea that gay couples live in fear of harassment on the streets in most cases. I live in a small, rural town in a southern state and I see gay couples holding hands all the time with no apparent hesitation. Much like racism, it certainly still exists, but even a hint of self-awareness should make it clear that this no longer the popular opinion in an environment where coming out is generally lauded rather than condemned.

    3.) This is the big one—he has not donated millions of dollars specifically to the cause of fighting gay marriage. He has donated millions of dollars to organizations that, as one small part of their agenda (which also includes feeding the hungry and building infrastructure in developing countries), does include what they would consider “defending traditional marriage.” Saying that he donated millions to anti-gay causes is no different than right-wingers who would claim that supporting Planned Parenthood is mostly about supporting abortions.

  16. Thank you, Andy, for sharing your opinion and supporting the fight against this injustice. Your “boycott” article is a wonderful example of what Al Franken calls “kidding on the square,” as in ‘joking but not joking.’

    Your humorous and heartfelt blog entry, and your sharing of it with your audience, is the truly powerful action, and for that mucho kudos (as they would say at Chipotle).

    Very few will read my comment here, so I will simply say: I am forever stunned at how worked up people can get opposing something as positive and perfect as Love.

  17. Andy, nice piece you seem to have stirred up your readers.
    I’m a little confused. People talk about marriage like it’s between god and the people getting married instead of it being similar to driving a car, or owning a dog. By that I mean you go to a government office and get a license. After you get your license you can either get married in a church or as my wife and I did in a casino in Reno or even in your local city hall.
    I don’t understand how two men or two women getting married effects the entire institution of marriage let alone me personally.
    I’m pretty sure everyone knows someone in the LGBT community (even if they don’t want to admit it). They’re co-workers, relatives, friends of friends. Just treat them with the same respect you would like to be shown.
    Oh, and for all of the über-christians out there, do you really think new testament jesus (fyi, Leviticus is not in the new testament), the one that hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors (his days lowest of the low) would really be ok with your actions? Didn’t he mention something about doing unto others?

  18. It is the same old story. You very rarely change the opinion of a bigot, or a religious believer. Also, you can’t change a free thinker into the opposite. Neither works, so we stay stuck in the mire of humanity. When people have a problem with the colour of a person I ask them to think from the perspective of being blind from birth, how can you then have a problem with colour? The world needs a super hero who, isn’t religious, isn’t American, and who can just deal with all the nutters, but I know it won’t happen, unintelligence will rule. Just let everyone live their own life, “gays” aren’t going to ruin the world. If you haven’t caught the news of late, it seems as though we have done a fine job on that without their help.

  19. As an Episcopalian and Christian (although there are those who would argue that Episcopalians aren’t Christian), my church has recently passed a resolution that would allow priests the option of presiding in a liturgy of blessing the union of same-sex committed couples. To be sure, it isn’t called “marriage” or “Holy Matrimony” but a union. What it does is conveys the blessing of the Church on this union, which is, in reality, the heart and soul of the Rite of Holy Matrimony. It’s the blessing that makes these unions–matrimony, same-sex union– holy in the sight of the Church. Everything else is, literally, window dressing. The blessing says to the couple: the Church, i.e., the people, supports this couple in their life-long commitment to each other. The blessing is what also differentiates matrimony, in the eyes of the Church, from marriage. Indeed, I know priests who won’t “marry” couples, but has them go get the license (from the state) and have a judge or some other official designated by the state to perform the marriage and make it legal, and will then have the couple come to the church for the Church’s blessing through the Rite of Holy Matrimony. These priests don’t want to have anything to do with the license, preferring to keep the state and its functions separate from the Church.
    The problem is, most of the Christian denominations don’t or won’t recognize the distinction between that which is done in the name of the State to make legal a union, and what is done in the name of the Church to make holy a union between two people. And, while the Episcopal Church can now provide a rite to make unions between same-sex couples holy, it cannot (and should not, in my opinion) make those same unions legal. That, is the crux of the matter, to me. I’m sure there are religious gay couples who are glad to see that the Church supports their union, but feel that isn’t enough because it doesn’t confer the legal rights and benefits conferred by the state in marriage. And, I’m sure that there are non-religious gay couples to whom it matters not a bit that the Church recognizes their union when the state does not.
    My opinion is that there is no reason why a state should NOT provide the rights and benefits to gay couples as heterosexual couples through a legal mechanism, called marriage. If the couple then wants to have that union sanctioned by the Church, then that is between them and their church.

  20. Thank you, Andy.

    I live in DC where marriage equality is law. The LGBT is agruably the strongest and most integrated in the country. And yet, last week a friend of mine got got his head bashed while walking home. His attackers chased him down while shouting, “fag!”

    Thank you for standing up for tolerance.

  21. Andy, I remember back in the days, getting my mail, opening the magazine to the last page first just so I could read your column before anything else… I didn’t think I could like you more, but then I got to know you in a different way via TWiT and I did!

    Now I see you standing up for others whose simple voice of living is seen as by many as nothing but evil and manipulative and I like you even more. You remain awesome as ever.

  22. To quote San Francisco comedian Larry “Bubble” Brown:
    “Gay Marriage? Haven’t they suffered enough!”

  23. “The problem is that he’s actively trying to restrict other people’s rights.”

    How is he doing this? His company hires gays and serves gays. What he does with his time and money is his business and best I’ve he supports primarily children’s charities.

  24. In 50 years (give or take), we will look back and shake our heads that we ever thought same sex marriage was a big deal. It will be such a non-issue, such a standard part of our societal framework, we’ll wonder what the fuss was about, if we even remember the fuss.

    Right now, it’s a struggle, but the direction is clear, and the progress inexorable. Today’s opponents will either calm down, and realize how it just isn’t an issue, or they will relegated to obscurity. It is the natural course of our social evolution.

  25. Fantastic blogpost Andy. I’ve enjoyed your even-headedness and objectivity on MacBreak Weekly and am glad I can continue to follow your similar thoughtfulness on topics more diverse.

  26. Thanks for the blogpost Andy. And well done the City of Boston’s response to Chick Fil A. So today, over here is 26th Jul, and apparently Snow Leopard was released overnight. Where’s your review, sport! ps. enjoying the Almanac, with you and Dan, and your contributions to MBW.

  27. Andy,

    You are wrong.

    If the man and his company come out with a comment supporting gay marriage you would write how enlightened they are. because his position disagrees with yours, he is wrong.

    Thats hypocritical.

    The company is not saying they won’t serve gays. They are not saying they will not hire gays. They are not saying gays are evil, bad people, or that they kick dogs. They are stating a position which they have the right to take.

    You and others forget, marriage is based in religious foundations not governmental. Maybe the problem is the government encroaching into religion.

    Do you not see any problem with your viewpoint and those of may municipalities (Chicago) taking steps to restrict a business from operating when they have broken no laws at all?

    This company has taken a stand and it is nice to see someone not striving for political correctness. They have their beliefs, they state what they are, and you and I as a customer can choose to patronize them.

    If this company were in my part of the world I would frequent them solely due to their willingness to be clear in what they believe.

    To bad the LGBT community is so narrowminded they will trample on others to force their views on others.

  28. “You and others forget, marriage is based in religious foundations not governmental”

    Religion has no jurisdiction over marriage (if it did, gay people would already be married in many more places than they already are… believe it or not there are plenty of churches who would like to marry gay couples). Priest, preachers, rabbis etc are allowed to act as ceremonial agents of the state but until that paperwork is signed and filed at the courthouse you are not married in the eyes of the law. Churches are also allowed to discriminate in who they marry, but that discrimination is not allowed to a justice of the peace who must follow the law to the letter. So the law trumps religious beliefs when it comes to defining marriage. Churches just get to play along out of traditional courtesy.

    Marriage is a civil contract between two consenting adults who want to share their lives together. Two atheists can get married at the courthouse with no supernatural involvement whatsoever. If religious people don’t want to share their little club with gay couples (or mixed race couples, or divorced couples, or infertile couples, or atheist couples) they are free to create their own special ceremonies and call it whatever they want. But like it or not “marriage” is now under the rule of law.

  29. “If this company were in my part of the world I would frequent them solely due to their willingness to be clear in what they believe.”

    There are plenty of people who are “willing to be clear in what they believe” the Bible says about interracial marriage, or equal rights for women, or equal rights for black people. It doesn’t make them righteous or admirable. History is littered with bigoted people who stubbornly refused to move forward with society. Which makes it all the more likely that they will be remembered for little more than their backwards looking obstinance.

    “To bad the LGBT community is so narrowminded they will trample on others to force their views on others.”

    Narrow minded? I would fight for your right to believe whatever you want to believe and for your right to shout it from the rooftops. I would fight for Mr. Cathy and his company’s right to do this as well. Society moves on however. And your beliefs about gay rights, like those of racists and sexists half a century ago, are becoming more and more unacceptable by the day. Which means you will get public blowback. Freedom of speech is not the same thing of freedom from consequences. Go out and “be clear about what you believe” about black people or women on the street in 2012 and don’t be surprised when you get sent home with a bloody nose and your tail between your legs. And even though I support your right to free speech don’t think I won’t fight back if I have to. I will not sit idly by while you or anyone else funnels millions of dollars into organizations that attempt to keep me and my family from having the same legal protections and rights as you and your family.

  30. If gay marriage is fine then why not polygamous marriage?

    why not marriage between siblings, parent/adult children?

    the argument seems to be that any consenting adults should have the right to be married.

    think……..

  31. It’s odd the only people who I ever hear talk about marriages between children, animals and such are heterosexuals.

    If you were born straight, congratulations you won the lottery! If because of that you can’t stand for others to have a small slice of happiness in this short life then you are pathetic.

    If you choose to bash a gay person because you only made it part way through a book assembled by a committee of men a thousand years ago, then bash your own self first, because your sins are far worse in that you, of your own free will, chose to make them. No gay person ever chose to be gay, considering all the people who hate them, who would?!

  32. Here is my take on the issue:

    Traditional marriage view of the GLBT agenda:
    1) Redefine marriage as a union between two consenting adults
    2) As a result of gay marriage, homosexuality is legitimized by the state.
    3) The state will now be at odds with the bible believing churches and will begin to sue them, removed 503c status, force them to marry gays, etc., if they defend the biblical views.
    4) The rights of the homosexuals will trump the free exercise of religion.

    WIth that in mind, they see the need to hold the line right where it is because the redefinition of marriage will quickly lead to a restriction on religious liberty.

  33. @Birdman. Churches are free to discriminate against anybody they desire when perfroming marriages in their church. They can already deny a request for marriage based on age, faith, race, nationality, previous marital status, the ability to bear children, etc. Heck they can deny someone because of their eye color or handedness if they want. Now whether they want the bad publicity that might come with such a ridiculous denial is a separate question but the law has no say so in who they marry as long as it meets the legal requirements.

    The courthouse, however, can not choose to deny marriage to anybody who fits the legal definition.

  34. @Graham, Slippery slope arguments never work

    1. Marriage is legally defined as a contract between TWO people. The whole US rule of law defining the rights and responsibilities of marriage is defined around a contract between TWO people. Allowing two gay people to marry is no more of a stress to the law than allowing an interracial couple to marry. Changing marriage to accomodate an infinite number of partners would be logistically impossible, not to mention put an impossible strain on the courts when those marriages went sour.

    2. Homosexuality is a legally and medically recognized sexual ORIENTATION. Polygamy is itself defined by an action. I am gay whether I am have had sex or am allowed to get married to another man. A polygamist is only a polygamist after he has married more than one spouse. Allowing gay people to marry lets their into an institution they have been excluded from. Someone who likes the idea of polygamy already has access to marriage (and should he or she be gay would benefit from same sex marriage).

    3. We don’t discriminate in this country against classes of people based on speculation of what MIGHT happen . Society is always moving forward and adjusting and the law is always stretching and bending to accommodate new societal standards. We live according to a living, breathing set of laws.

  35. Here is what Dan Cathy said:
    “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,”

    Here is what then candidate Obama said during the Saddleback Presidential Candidate forum:
    WARREN: There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that. We have 15 other questions here. Define marriage.

    OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.

    I don’t think what Cathy said differs much from what President Obama said 4 years ago.

    The fact that he was supposedly leads me to think either the sentiment of the culture has dramatically shifted in 4 years or something else is at work here. I think it is the latter. One explanation could be the source. Obama is a liberal so he gets a pass, but Cathy is a conservative, so he is lambasted for saying it. Although that is a possibility, I think there is a more likely explanation. I think this is pure politics at work. The election is coming up and the economy sucks. The economy is one of the top election issues but is not in Obama’s favor. So, the strategy is to try to shift the debate to social issues and then paint those who oppose your view as extremists. This, in turn, will convince the middle of the road voters to stick with Obama to avoid voting with the right-wing extremists.

  36. @birdman, the difference is between what people say and what they do. Talk is cheap. Actions are what counts.

    Obama said what he had to at the time. But his actions since then… from helping to roll back DADT to instructing his AG to not protest the possible repeal of DOMA to his (politically risky) full on support of same sex marriage as of late has shown where his heart is.

    I don’t care what Cathy says. I care that his company donates millions of dollars towards “traditional family” groups (like the Family Research Council) who’s sole reason for being is to keep gay families from having equal rights (not to mention helping to fund atrocious laws in other countries which imprison or execute gay people in other countries like Uganda).

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/chick-fil-a-profits-are-supporting-ugandas-kill-the-gays-bill/politics/2012/08/01/45430

    This isn;t about “free speech”. Its about actions and consequences. Nobody ever said that free speech doesn’t come with risks. Go out on the street and “speak freely” about the inferiority of black people or women and see where that gets you. You have the right to say just about anything you want. Doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt.

  37. Birdman, It’s interesting to fault Obama of being political on the issue, when the GOP politicized it in the past several elections as an intentional way to get the religious right to the polls.

    The whole issue is political theatre which once the boomer generation starts dying off, will become a non-issue. The vast majority of under 30 year old people support LGBT rights, including marriage.

  38. @Ken, minimalist, I think the laws of our country reflect the current culture (with a legislative delay). When we reach a point of >50% approval for gay marriage, it will be so. A great recent example of this played out with smoking. When more people were against smoking in public than not, laws cascaded all over the country restricting smoking. Just as smokers today are often looked down upon, I suspect people who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman will be looked upon in a similar way when this occurs.

    The point of the previous post is that Cathy was attacked for saying basically the same thing the president did. Therefore, he apparently was not attacked for WHAT he said, but for some other reason. At the time Obama said this he hadn’t done all of the things you listed, so that was not the reason there was no backlash.

    If Obama indeed “said what he had to at the time”, rather than what was in his heart, is an indication to me that we had not crossed the 50% barrier yet. Four years have passed and the president’s public position has changed. That could be an indication that we have crossed the threshold. Time will tell.

  39. @birdman. We are already there (48% in favor 43% against).

    http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Two-Thirds-of-Democrats-Now-Support-Gay-Marriage.aspx

    Not to mention, civil rights are never decided by popular vote. The SCOTUS already is on record as saying marriage is one of our most fundamental civil rights during the 1967 case which struck down bans on interracial marriage). When the ruling came down, over 70% of the country still thought it was immoral and wrong. We are way beyond that with public opinion on gay marriage already so don;t be surprised if SCOTUS strikes down all state bans on gay marriage soon. The dominos are are already falling.

    Sadly, Mr. Cathy and his company may be remembered like the ex-Alabama governor George Wallace is today.

  40. Bill, same-sex unions were actually performed by the Catholic church in medieval times. Check out John Boswell’s book Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (http://www.amazon.com/Same-Sex-Unions-Premodern-Europe-Boswell/dp/0679751645). You seem to believe that marriage has been “defined” as a heterosexual partnership for ages & that anyone who thinks marriage should include homosexual partnerships is “twisting” language & defying “logic.” But even the Catholic church recognized homosexual marriages in the middle ages. The fact is that throughout history only heterosexual bigots thought that marriages were only for heterosexual partners. Homosexuals themselves always thought differently. After the early middle ages, homosexuals’ views were increasingly shouted down by heterosexual bigots. But now, finally, fairness is returning. Thank god those heterosexual bigots can no longer act as gatekeepers to the condition of marriage, a condition that should by all rights be open to all couples.

  41. Nice try, Mika, but Boswell’s assertions just don’t hold water. Adelphopoiesis, which he tries to equate with same-sex union, does not derive from Catholicism — it’s an Eastern Christian (Byzantine) rite which passed into Eastern Orthodoxy for a time before being abandoned. It was a blessing upon a “blood brotherhood” and was strictly spiritual in nature, having zero to do with any form of sex, much less homosexuality. It was for establishing kinship in a spiritual context. To claim Adelphopoiesis was the Christian church’s way of “recognizing” homosexual marriage is not just a stretch, it’s insanely distorted history revision.

    Sorry, but Boswell was grasping at straws.

  42. Don’t know if this point has been made earlier, anyone you see at a Chick-fil-a, “big-Boxmart, etc., has NOTHING to do with executive policy. Any protest might be better directed at the corporate offices, perhaps snow ’em under with snail mail? Maybe asking why sinners must look forward to damnation in the afterlife, and be punished here, when they’re not sinning against unwilling victims? IMHO, smells like a heresy.

  43. That adelphopoiesis unions had “zero to do with any form of sex,” while perhaps strictly true with regard to the ritual text itself, is only speculation with regard to actual practice and, frankly, seems pretty ridiculous to me. A same-sex religious union is a same-sex religious union, regardless.

    There are also longstanding homosexual marriage rituals in France. Here’s an abstract of an article by Allan Tulchin:

    Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the “Affrèrement.”
    by Allan Tulchin
    published in Journal of Modern History (2007)
    In the current gay-marriage debate, both sides seem to assume that historically, nuclear families were the norm in Western societies. In fact, a wide variety of households were common; in Mediterranean Europe, they were frequently structured by a contract called in French an “affrerement” (and equivalents in other European languages). Members of affrerements agreed to share “one bread and one wine,” and held all of their worldly goods in common, equivalent to married community property today. Young, unmarried, unrelated men sometimes entered into these arrangements, and the contracts explicitly stated that they entered into them out of love or affection.

    Science Daily has a piece on this research.

    The argument that a particular practice has long been suppressed and marginalized is not at all an argument that it should be suppressed and marginalized. The suppression was wrong then and is wrong now.

  44. More grasping at straws on your part.

    Ironically, you claim it “speculation” for one to say the actual practice of adelphopoiesis was not sexual. You have even lobbed bombs by saying that only “bigots” thought otherwise.

    To claim that this rite of making two otherwise unrelated people the equivalent of blood kin is something more than platonic (and to extrapolate this to also mean it was a means by which Christians blessed same-sex marriage, which was the whole shaky basis for Boswell’s thesis), is as wrong-headed as assuming that the purpose of the church appointing god parents over children was a tacit approval of pedophilia.

    Similarly, and this seems to be the foundation for the confused state of these arguments, there is a failure to understand the distinction or the connotations of what is meant when two unrelated people of the same gender express “love” for one another. Only the most depraved, jaded and cynical would assume Philios, Storge and Agape always translate to Eros. But sadly, it’s not surprising that not only so many do, but also insist upon it.

    In that light, I don’t doubt others will try to revise history along their own narrow interests.

  45. Biblical Definition of Marriage: A man, his half-sister, and her slave.

    That would be Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar for those of you keeping score at home. That would be the “Abraham” responsible for the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

    So, slavery, incest and polygamy are what make up the foundation of all of biblical marriage. Tell me again how gay marriage is going to redefine “traditional” marriage since approximately zero of the marriages responsible for the core of the Abrahamic tradition are currently recognized as legitimate today?

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