Two companies have come under fire and threatened boycotts in the last few weeks. Oreo, and by extension all Kraft foods, was targeted on Facebook when the above as was released in support of Gay Pride. However small and relatively irrelevant the boycott attempt from a one man show called the Florida Family Association was, it did get fire in some organizations. One Million Moms asked Oreo to stay neutral on the so-called culture wars in a press release, asking its followers to write the company and stop purchasing the products. This is not the first time that a company has come under fire from the right on the issue of gay rights. The aforementioned One Million Moms have a slew of boycotts going, JC Penny, Disney, Glee etc etc etc. Often this was because those companies promote themselves as being comfortable with having gay customers. These Moms feel having an opinion is only okay for individuals and not companies. What is funny is that they didn't weigh in on Chick-Fil-A, for years known as a company that promoted their version of family values stepped into the cultural wars publicly as the CEO and son of the founder when asked by a Baptist Press reporter about being anti-gay marriage he responded "guilty as charged". That is not nearly neutral, in fact the company has worked with some of the most loud critics of gay rights in this country and the Moms seem fine with that as they promote some of those same organizations. We could call the One Million Moms hypercritical but that would be too easy.
You see the issue of gay rights is one that is polarizing for a segment of the population. Some see it as the downfall of western society and others see it as a sign of progress. While more and more people are comfortable with gay marriage, every percent point rise in acceptance that the rights connected with gay people being able to actually have government sanctioned marriage (and obtain the thousands of immediate rights associated with it) is met with and even louder opposition with well-funded campaigns that are willing to lie about gay men and lesbians to change people's minds. Often under the flag of Christianity. When a boycott was called on for Chick-fil-A the two main responses were people were practicing religious intolerance and they were violating the CEO's free speech rights. Let me be clear, if your religion deems, lies about and calls for harm against human beings for who they and you call me intolerant my answer is "guilty as charged". I do not tolerate the systematic attack on human beings who are not harming anyone because someone doesn't like the idea of who they are sexually attracted to and love. I am intolerant of people like the American Family Association who say that people are not born gay and that the choice to be gay is harmful to society. (An organization supported by Chick-Fil-A). And I have a right to this intolerance as those supporters of these organizations and Chick-Fil-A have a right to the opposite view that I find repugnant. However there is the rub. People feel if you speak out against Chick-Fil-A you are being exactly the same as One Million Moms and the American Family Association and that is where I disagree. You see they clearly want to erase people from the American tapestry, be it by asking companies not to advertise to gay people or more disgustingly by lying about them and calling for all gays to be sent to concentration camps to "die out".
If you disagree with a company's stance on something then by all means don't give them your money. That is a freedom we have and has been highly successful from the earliest days of our country. But when a company you agree with is targeted for statements that offend (and yes attacking gays with lies and supporting organizations who want to erase them from our country is offensive) you don't have a right to call us bigots.
Two things should also be said about this situation. One is that certain community leaders have spoken out strongly urging the government involvement to stop Chick-Fil-A in their communities. That dances on a narrow bridge between Constitutional violation and community service. I think they should just shut up, if the community doesn't want Chick-Fil-A they will decide with their dollars. But Chick-Fil-A is not clean in this debate either, lying about the Muppet toys at their stores after the company pulled out of the deal and creating a fake Facebook profile to combat the negative statements online. This stuff is unnecessary and frankly ridiculous.
The bottom line is that I hope that you support those who share your values but know what those values are. Bumper stickers phrases like "biblical definition of marriage" and "Christian family values" don't cut it when you are supporting people who would seem comfortable with the end of all gay people. And frankly stop telling me I shouldn't make this information known. If you are going to stand up for something, stand for all of it. But if you do please don't ask others to be neutral, rights are for everyone, not just those who agree with you.