Chick-Fil-Gay: The Inevitability of Marriage Equality
One bond I have found between southern expats living in New York is our love for Chik-Fil-A. For us, it was a treat that we could only get south of New Jersey. When I rode home for this past Memorial Day weekend, everyone in car-all Virginias-agreed that only Chik-Fil-A would be acceptable for dinner. As we pulled into one in Delaware, it was a sure fire sign that we were headed home. Of course, with the current controversy many of us have felt conflicted towards our favorite chicken sandwiches. I certainly don’t agree with President of Chik-Fil-A Dan Cathy stances towards gay marriage, but damn, those chicken sandwiches. Oh, and I can’t forget the waffle fries either. Have you had their milkshakes too? They’re incredible, especially for a fast food place. Still, should their politics effect my patronage? Do I give up the chicken, fries, and shakes? Does homophobia really taste that good?
Like pretty much everything in life does, this current event reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons.
What the clip doesn’t include is Bart and Lisa rushing in trying to retrieve the pink elephant. Once they have the balloon back, the head gay republican hands Lisa a bumper sticker.
“A gay president for 2084?” she reads.
“We’re realistic” he states simply.
Though exaggerated, I think this scene illustrates a very important point towards the current and future state of gay equality in law and society. As I drove around Virginia Beach listening to NPR last week, I caught some of the Jefferson hour where they were talking about this very issue. In it, Clay Jenkinson discussed feelings towards homosexuality in 18th Century America. He suggested, among other things, that colonial Americans held more advanced views than our own towards the subject. In Jefferson’s time, homosexual behavior was merely acknowledged as eccentric, rather than immoral, behavior that was hardly talked about in the open. Of course, that view would never work in this day and age where members of the gay community want to live an open life free of prejudice. However, Mr. Jenkinson concluded by saying that when you look at the trends in the last thirty years, it seems inevitable that gay marriage will, in time, be fully accepted. All we need is to be patient, or as the Simpsons would say, “realistic.”
I feel that enough has been said about why marriage equality should exist, but there simply is no logical reason not to support it. Religious reasons, sure, but those reasons are rooted in faith, not logic. Frankly, I don’t think marriage should be sexualized at all. If I had to marry anyone in the world right now, it would be to my best friend Alexander. I would marry him, not because we are attracted to each other sexually (although this may be somewhat true), but because out of all the people I know, Alex knows me best. If anything were to happen to me, he would know exactly how I would want it handled.
So, why should I face political resistance to the idea of marrying my best friend and equal?
Yes, as time goes on it seems inevitable that marriage equality will prevail over the forces that try and hold it down. If the trends continue, those who don’t support gay marriage will either change their minds or simply die, while more tolerant generations grow into maturity in a culture that more and more depicts homosexuality in a domestic way. Yet with the victory looming over the horizon, I want to suggest that we don’t push too hard or go to fast. Keep fighting the good fight, but don’t turn into an extremist. Extremism only tends to breed extremism and the hastier we force the issue on those that don’t agree with us, the more extreme the backlash will be. The most important thing that we can be doing to help the movement is to show the opposition compassion. You have to understand, those people who don’t support gay marriage do so because it shakes their very view of reality. If something that they have held onto all their lives suddenly seems untrue or obsolete, they can begin to question their sanity and many other things that they have held dear. The best way to convince those people though is to show them that homosexuals are not the devil, that they are still people who are committed and in love as any heterosexual couple could be, and that both groups share more basic human similarities than differences.
Have I eaten a Chik-Fil-A sandwich this round home? Yes I have. A spicy one to be exact and it was delicious. I figured that no chicken sandwich, no matter how tasty or homophobic, will stem the tides of change. We just have to be smart enough to ride with it since, at least in this case, good and truth will ultimately prevail.