Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why we do not eat

By: Jordan Palmer

The Chick-Fil-A controversy is creating a rift within the LGBTI community in Kentucky, and according to a Baptist blogger for CNN, R. Albert Mohler Jr., "[this is] a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance."

Well, I don't agree with Mr. Mohler's assessment, but over the past month Kentucky Equality Federation has received a lot of complaints, especially from LGBTI people seeing other LGBTI people and campus gay-straight alliance leaders eating at Chick-Fil-A locations.

I have reluctantly, not in the best of health, taken the position of president of Kentucky Equality Federation again, and, by doing so, became the ex officio president of Marriage Equality Kentucky and the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign. As a founder of Kentucky Equality Federation and its president again (only until Mr. Joshua Koch returns from his pending military deployment), I feel the need to clarify our position as well as the position of our component member organizations.

On August 15th, a former volunteer for a LBGTI center shot a security guard at a Family Research Council office while apparently trying to gain access to their senior staff, volunteers, interns, or their president.

Kentucky Equality Federation condemns violence in all forms. We must not sink to their level, and we will not condone any violence against opposing non-profits or non-government organizations, even if said organization is a hate group. As someone who receives their fair share of death threats and discussing them with U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey, as he indicated to me, the people who make threats are not the ones you must fear. Rather, it is the ones who do not make threats you must worry about because they carry out these attacks.

Regardless of the petty "cliques" that already divide Kentucky’s LGBTI community, I say to all, take a step back and clear your heads.

Chick-Fil-A donates to the Family Research Council. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Family Research Council as a hate group and Kentucky Equality Federation agrees with their classification. As Senior Fellow Mark Potok stated: "The council [Family Research Council] earned the designation for spreading false propaganda about the gay community, not for its opposition to same-sex marriage. They routinely push out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse - claims that are provably false."

The Family Research Council was actually started by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, another anti-equality hate group. Though Kentucky Equality Federation does not agree with violence, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family have no remorse for the legislation they stop to bring equality to communities, and they are absolutely certain they are correct in their destructive courses of action because they honestly believe they have superior morality. When you consider, however, that Chick-Fil-A, as well as the Family Research Council, could have fed over 5,000 homeless Kentuckians or other citizens across America for the $25,000.00 they spent lobbying the U.S. Congress not to condemn or interfere in the republic of Uganda’s “kill the gays legislation,” which would have legalized and encouraged a common everyday occurrence in the Middle East, African nation-states, Russia, and South America. They have a right to speak what they will, but we take issue when they provide moral cover for sexual genocide.

This incident also revealed yet another secret Washington, D.C., group, "The Family," which several U.S. Congressman wrote to Kentucky Equality Federation (view) about because we are a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Organization, "ILGA," and a United Nations non-government observer with consultative status. Kentucky Equality Federation, along with ILGA expressed its outrage to the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, and Queen Elizabeth II, the head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acted, as did United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, by pulling HIV/AIDS relief efforts from those nation-states since the United Nations employs LGBTI people. Ban Ki-moon, as the leader of the United Nations, also warned member-states about the treatment of their LGBTI populations, reminding them that LGBTI people are protected by the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Is this "superior morality?" No. Kentucky Equality Federation first donated to Kentucky's homeless youth in April 2009 (press release). As far as being a hate group, the Family Research Council is "guilty as charged," and so is Chick-Fil-A, as their president indicated.

As president of Kentucky Equality Federation, I personally urge you not to eat at a Chick-Fil-A location. By eating at Chick-Fil-A, you give additional royalties to a restaurant chain that donates to a group that that uses propaganda, misinformation, and lobbyists to place obstacles in our path and rally against our very right to exist. They are even willing to spend money to eradicate us, as if we were some sort of plague.

Though Chick-Fil-A publically announced their religious beliefs, other companies that share their beliefs include Forever 21, Tyson Foods, Hobby Lobby, ServiceMaster, Interstate Batteries, and Walmart. (source)

I am not straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, Black, White, intersex, lesbian, or any other word someone would choose to label or define me. I am human. For some, though I will never understand how, it is easy to dismiss other humans and deny their fundamental civil liberties by placing a label on them.

The choice of eating at a Chick-Fil-A location is ultimately the decision of each person based on their conscience, but those who do, in my opinion, have lost perspective as to why we are boycotting Chick-Fil-A. Be aware that any money spent with such enablers is being spent to support the killing and increased misery of our allies here and around the world. As a community, we must remain united and check our personal opinions and attitudes at the door. Until we can do this and fight united, the equality and fairness that is denied to us shall always elude us, visible in appearance, but always just shy of our grasp.

---> Posted by a volunteer Community Blogger of Kentucky Equality Federation. This is the official blog of Kentucky Equality Federation. Posts contained in this blog may not be the official position of Kentucky Equality Federation, its volunteer officers, directors, management, supported organizations, allies or coalitions, but rather the personal opinions or views of the volunteer Community Bloggers. The opinions or views expressed in the blog are protected by Section 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as non-slanderous free speech; blogs are personal views or opinions and not journalistic news sites.