Saturday, July 21, 2012

Boy Scouts, chicken sandwiches, and wedding cakes, oh my!

What a week it has been for queers!  We have seen Boy Scouts of American stand strong on their ban on gays;  we have seen Chick-Fil-A's President openly affirm that they are anti-LGBT, and then make a sorry attempt to explain their hate; we have seen Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, CO refuse service to a gay couple in need of a wedding cake.

Out of all the bad, of course, some good has cropped up.  BSA has seen a ton of backlash, including some scouts stepping down, and in at least one case, returning badges in protest of their policy.  Chick-Fil-A has received a ton of press, most of it negative, in response to their "coming out" against LGBT people.  One item I particularly love is the Jim Henson Company announcing they will no longer partner with Chick-Fil-A.  We will have to see what is in store for the Colorado bakery, but have already seen a ton of negative reviews popping up over on Yelp.

Do these organizations, like churches who practice discrimination, cause harm?  Absolutely!  Take Boy Scouts of America, for instance.  Meet Johnny.  Johnny is a young man in Boy Scouts.  Johnny is also dealing with feelings inside that scare and confuse him.  Johnny thinks he might be gay.  Johnny's parents have always taught him that all people are equal and that it is not ok to bully or discriminate against someone because of the color of their skin, or who they might love.  Johnny's parents also love that he is a Scout.  They feel that the good done by BSA outweighs the bad they do with the ban on gays and atheists.  They don't discuss this issue with Johnny because they don't want him to have bad thoughts or impressions of BSA.  Johnny saw something in the paper about the issue though.  He also overheard some other Scouts joking about the "fags" who can't join them.  Johnny, dealing with his own internal issues, will not discuss this with his parents or any of his friends, that might make people realize what he is.  So Johnny is very confused.  It is wrong to discriminate.  But BSA is GOOD and they discriminate, so does that mean that it's ok to discriminate just against gays and atheists?  Or does it mean that it's really not that bad to discriminate against gays because they really aren't equal?  Poor Johnny.

Bad move for these three!  You would think they would know better in today's day and age.  When attempted boycotts of Starbuck's, JC Penney, and Kraft Foods by Bigoted Mothers and Others have failed miserably and actually backfired on them, why would they want to make a firm stance against equality?

Bottom line is that if you support organizations, Churches, or businesses that discriminate against people (whatever the reason), you, whether you want to or not, are indirectly supporting that discrimination.  The Chicken Sandwich you eat today can help fund a harmful reparative therapy session for an already scared and hurting child.  The cake or pie you buy could allow a bigoted businessman to continue to refuse service to gays, also teaching children in the community that gay is bad!  The dues you pay to keep your child in Boy Scouts help fund an organization that teaches children that some people are not worthy of equal treatment, that to be different, to break out of the mold is bad: think, look, pray, and love like we do or you are scum!

If BSA, Chick-Fil-A, and this bakery were to have refused service, banned, or said hateful things about people based on their race, sex, or religious affiliation, more people would be up in arms against them!  Society as a whole would not stand for such things, even if done by a "private organization" or "private company."  Too many people tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to discrimination against LGBT people when they wouldn't if it were a different situation.  That, in my opinion, is actually more immoral than the discrimination taking place to begin with.  As MLK said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."



  1. And in case you all missed it, check out this story about Major League Soccer deciding NOT to renew their contract with BSA!