Because I’m compelled to have awkward moments throughout my life, yesterday I discussed Chick Fil A Gate (Chick Fil Ate?) with my allergist. I didn’t mean to start an uncomfortable conversation, sometimes I just like to show off how flexible I am by slowly edging my foot into my mouth. She sided with Dan Cathy, or at least the people crying “First Amendment!” I was unsure where to go from there. We asserted our opinions and left it at that; she not wanting to offend her patient, I not wanting to piss off the doctor in charge of the four needles jabbed into my subcutaneous fat on a bi-monthly basis.
I don’t disagree that Chick Fil A’s CEO’s son, Dan Cathy, should have all the free speech he wants. Let him paint himself with anti-gay slurs and go sprinting through Chelsea. (Please, please let it happen while I’m having brunch nearby.) People who don’t mind that portions of their waffle fries purchase are going to finance de-programing homosexuals and buying votes in legislatures to oppress minorities should continue to eat them. They’re horrible bigots, but that’s my free speech at work and I wouldn’t want anyone to take it away from me.
The things Dan Cathy is doing are not illegal. I find them morally reprehensible, as do many Christians who were raised to believe in spreading God’s love rather than using our religion as an excuse to be oppressive. I don’t know where in the Bible it defines marriage as between a man and a woman, though I’m sure it does. I also know there are plenty of passages that define marriage as a union between a man and several women, and verses ordering wives to sleep at their husband’s feet (somehow, I can’t envision bedtime going down that way in the Palin household). The Bible is full of contradictions, being written by fallible humans, rather than an omniscient God.
But even if the Bible has a verse in every book that talks about how terrible gay people are and how God and Jesus are always BBMing that they wish a bloated millionaire would use the money his father provided for him from a fast food chain to eradicate them from the earth, it would be irrelevant. We are, in principle, a secular country, founded on the separation of Church and State. We should all be free from persecution; even if what some of us do in the privacy of our own homes between consenting adults makes some of the rest of us feel squidgy. The only document that should be considered when making laws and protecting our citizens is the Constitution. The First Amendment is what everyone is using to back Dan Cathy up, but no one considers he is using it to stomp on the equally important Fourteenth Amendment, which avers:
The organizations that Dan Cathy supports spend their money trying to deprive LGBT American Citizens of these exact rights. This is wrong. Everyone who high fived yesterday over their delicious Chicken Cool Wraps is also wrong. Gay rights don’t have anything to do with you or your Bible. You certainly won’t be invited to any gay weddings. This is a basic civil rights issue that has gained ground faster than any movement in history, of which you are standing on the wrong side, covered in chicken grease.