Setting aside anger for something that I hope is a little more kind. (Or: when I break my own law)

A few days ago, I Twittered: "I can't stop laughing at the bigots who celebrated their solidarity with each other by gorging themselves on shitty fast food. Bravo, jerks."

I still think it's silly that eating at a fast food restaurant is considered political activism today, but that's not what this is about. What I said clearly struck a nerve with people who were really angry with me for saying that, so I did what my friend Tom Merrit advised me to do: remove the charged language, and see what's left behind. After a couple of days, it became clear that a number of people genuinely did not see themselves that way, and they were hurt by the language I used to describe them. I've thought about this a lot, and this is what I have to say:

It’s all too easy to forget that there’s a human being on the other end of the Internet. That human being has a name. That human being has friends and family; hopes, fears, and dreams. The person behind those words and that avatar is loved by people, and that person loves them in return.

It’s far too easy to lose our basic humanity and compassion for each other when we forget this. In my recent righteous anger, I’ve forgotten that, and though the people I’ve recently disagreed with have infuriated me, when my white hot anger fades, all that remains is sadness that we can’t speak to each other in a civil way.

So today I am setting aside my anger, and trading my recent mocking derision for something I hope is more kind.

To the people who are so angry at me: Whoever you are, whatever you believe, I hope that you’ll find someone you love and who loves you, and share a quiet, peaceful moment together. I hope you’ll appreciate the love you share, and if you’re a heterosexual couple, be very grateful that tens of thousands of people didn’t get together in the last few days to tell you that the love you feel is not just wrong, but it’s evil. It should be marginalized, and you should be a second-class citizen because of it.

If you can imagine that feeling — I mean, viscerally imagine it and think how it would make you feel — you may understand why I’ll fight with my dying breath to ensure that no two people ever have to feel that. I believe that it’s fundamentally wrong to prevent two people who love each other as much as Anne and I do the right to marry and be treated the same way in the eyes of the law and society as we are, simply because they are a same-sex couple.

Now, I’ve learned something in the last couple of days: I saw a clear statement of solidarity with a man who has spent millions of dollars supporting hate organizations that work tirelessly to restrict the rights of same-sex couples. But what I saw was viewed by a not-insignificant number of participants as a statement against censorship, an affirmative statement for the rights of an individual to express an unpopular opinion. They fully support the rights of same-sex couples to marry, but feel even more passionate about freedom of expression; they weren’t there to support this man’s goals and beliefs, they were simply there to support his right to have them.

On the one hand, I believe that requires a willingness to ignore a simple equation: You buy fast food -> fast food profits go to CEO -> CEO gives money to hate group -> hate group lobbies for laws that hurt same-sex couples. Therefore, your participation in an event organized and promoted by people who support those laws gives your support to them and the laws they hope to pass.

On the other hand, I have to believe that — even though it’s clear from interviews with many of the participants that they did view this as solidarity with the owner, and was not about the Constitution — at least some of the people who ate what I called “shitty fast food” did so because they genuinely believed they were standing up for someone’s right to express an unpopular opinion.

To those people who viewed this not as a statement of solidarity with that man’s opinion, but his right to express it – and those people alone – I apologize for labeling you as a bigot. You were shoulder to shoulder with a lot of them that day, but if you genuinely believed that you were standing up for someone’s right to express an unpopular opinion, and you weren’t there because you were supporting that same person’s efforts to deny same-sex couples the rights heterosexual couples take for granted by spending the money you gave him on that day, I sincerely apologize for putting a label on you that was hurtful. I imagine there are some same-sex couples who watched lines stretch down the block outside a chicken restaurant that day who can relate to that feeling.

For what it’s worth, I never supported mayors telling a restaurant it couldn’t open in their cities for political reasons — that’s unconstitutional, stupid, and wrong. I believe very strongly in the rights of individuals to express unpopular opinions, but I also believe even more strongly that people who love each other have the fundamental right to marry, and in this case, especially considering the millions and millions of dollars this man has spent trying to deny same-sex couples that right, I hope his unpopular opinion has negative consequences for him and his company. I hope that the incredible number of people who turned out to give him time and money will give an equal amount of time and money at a homeless shelter, or some other organization that desperately needs that time and money to help people who are suffering.

But I’ve veered slightly off track. My goal today is to clarify in more than 140 characters why I feel the way I do, and sincerely apologize to people who were certainly with a lot of bigots, but don’t believe they are bigots themselves. Words can be hurtful; ask anyone who’s been called a faggot or a dyke or worse for holding hands with the person they love.

But for now, Person Who Is Angry With Me, I’m going to step away and spend the day with my wife and our sons, and be grateful that there isn’t a very wealthy man spending the money he earns with his very profitable and popular fast food restaurant trying to make us less of a family.

148 thoughts on “Setting aside anger for something that I hope is a little more kind. (Or: when I break my own law)”

  1. Wil, I think you’re awesome, but I think your awesome is being misplaced here.
    His right to say stupid, hateful, bigoted things was never threatened.
    Groups he has donated millions of dollars to are taking those dollars and not just saying that gay people should be jailed but going overseas to Uganda and saying gay people should be executed in a country where the political climate makes that a reasonably likely outcome.
    If you’re gay–or even thought by your neighbors to be gay–Uganda isn’t safe for you and that is made possible, in part, by money spent on chicken sandwiches.
    If you buy those chicken sandwiches, you are helping to kill people. You are helping to increase the amount of suffering and decrease the amount of joy in the world.
    People matter, Wil, and I know you know this. Sometimes when people matter, there are two reasonable sides. Sometimes there aren’t. This is one of the times when there aren’t
    They’re bigots and the fact that they don’t like being called bigots is why we need to keep pointing out to them that it’s what they are being.

  2. Your point about the mayor is a good one. When he first pulled that stunt, my sweetie agreed with him. I didn’t – that’s a misuse of government power, and I’m against that, no matter who the target. After discussing it, and thinking on it a few days, my sweetie decided she agreed with us.
    In that discussion, I think we uncovered one of the hidden assumptions that has been bedevilling people discussing the issue. On the one hand, the man has the right to express unpopular opinions, and give his own money to causes he believes in. But when he makes those opinions and expenditures part of corporate policy, that’s going to effect the corporation. Some people will agree with it, and perhaps bring them more business. Some people will disagree, and perhaps take their business away. Naturally, I support their rights to do either.
    However, I personally don’t see the logic behind bringing business to the corporation to support the owner’s right to express his own opinions. It’s a subtle point, and (IMHO) at the root of the misunderstandings. Add in some strong feelings and charged language, and you have the makings of a brouhaha.

  3. Okay, I get what you’re saying… by the way, being Canadian, I haven’t got a clue what Chick-fil-A is or who any of these people are (other than based on what I’ve read here). I just think if this COO wants to offer his opinions on same-sex marriage, it should be because he has thought about, discussed and opened his minds to all aspects of the argument and can not support gay marriage because he truly feels he has arrived at a reasoned conclusion…not just because “it’s his opinion and he’s allowed to have one”… that’s not enough.

  4. Actually, Shane, a group called “One Million Moms” (Which is a group created by the National Organization for Marriage)
    Website: onemillionmoms.com/
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/onemillionmoms
    NOTE: You are gonna have to copy and paste links. There is NO way I want this group seeing traffic coming from Wil’s blog.
    is TRYING to take business that either express support for or donate to LGBT causes to task. Among the companies they have target are Home Depot, JCPenney, General Mills, amongst others. They also have called for boycotts of these companies. So…. My question is if it is not right for the LGBT community to call for a boycott of Chick-Fil-A for it’s use of franchise profits to support anti-LGBT groups why then is it alright (i.e. no stink about free speech) for those same organizations that are anti-LGBT to call for boycotts based upon a companies support of LGBT right? TLDR: The “Right” has been very hypocritical during this whole “Chick-Fil-A” debacle.

  5. I don’t see this as a free speech issue, except that of course Mr. Cathy has the right to his (vile) views on GBLT people. And he has the right to donate his money as he sees fit. But as he will donate that money to hate groups, I will not give him a penny of mine to pass along. Simple.

  6. Wil – There is an error in this logic of “I”m not a bigot, was supporting free speech”.
    I support free speech by giving money to the ACLU. The ACLU will then take on cases that state the KKK is allowed to adopt a mile. You can’t deny them just because you don’t like what they stand for.
    What I don’t do? I DON’T give money TO the KKK to say “Good for you using your right to free speech to promote violence, predujice, and intolorence.”
    The people who went to Chik-fil-A to “support free speech” were actually supporting Hate. They are bigots. You don’t give your financial support to the haters unless you agree with their cause.
    I’m sorry these bigots were upset with you when you called them on their BS.

  7. I have to admit, bigotry goes both ways.
    Cathy and his supporters are seen as haters and intolerant of G&L. G&L and their supporters are seen as haters and intolerant of religion. Do you see where I’m going with this? Both sides have their reasons to believe why the other is seen as a hater, and they would be good reasons, except for one thing: taking into consideration the rationale behind the other’s views. Quite clearly if one UNDERSTOOD the reasons behind the other, there would be little conflict. But obviously there is a lack of willingness on both sides to understand or even WANT to understand the other’s side.
    What one person views as hate is most likely not hate, just disagreement. If I told you I didn’t approve of your choice in shoes, does that mean that I hate you? Of course not! If I told you I didn’t approve in the breed of dog or cat you chose to have, does that mean I hate you? Heck no. If I told you I didn’t approve of the religion you practice, or the partner you’ve chosen, or the religion your partner chose to practice, does that mean I hate you (or your partner)? Think about it! I dislike the choices people make, and even those I’ve made myself, but I don’t hate anyone. There are people that GENUINELY hate people’s color, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. But I’m telling you they are few and far between compared to the general population. People that dislike the choices we make (even those related to the above criteria in some way or another) are always and everywhere and will never go away. We always will disagree with someone else’s choices. That’s never going to end in a free society. But it has become – for whatever reasons – perfectly acceptable to jump to conclusions to decide for ourselves who hates what. It’s insanity. And we are all complicit in it.
    In order to get along, we have to ultimately realize that we are ALWAYS going to disagree with one another for whatever reason. And we are going to have to realize that we may never FULLY understand the reasons behind those disagreements; and that if we truly did we might change our mind. It may be best to try to dialogue with one another without the emotional baggage that comes along with our choices. But that’s a steep hill to climb and I suspect that most will find it easier to “hate” than to try to understand the other’s point of view. Unfortunately, perceived “hate” can develop into full-fledged hate relatively quickly. As in your case, Wil, it almost did. But due to your awesome nature you kept it in check. :) I’ve done similar things myself, as I suspect most people have too.
    I wish I could stop this madness but unfortunately I am only one person, and pretty much a nobody, so I feel powerless to do anything other than write this post.
    And, unfortunately, this post will ultimately be seen by someone as a hate post even though there’s no personal hate involved in it. I know it’s cliché material, but why can’t we just all get along? Our future depends on it.

  8. Read your tweet, read this post, read some other blogs, and then read the comments here. The conclusion I came to: sometimes you gotta be a dick and stir the s**t! While I wholeheartedly support the “don’t be a dick” mantra when it comes to things like facebook/twitter bullying or rage chat in games or on blogs or just at the grocery store when the person in front of you is being slow … sometimes you gotta stand up for what you believe in even if it makes you a dick. This Cathy of Chick-Fil-A spoke out even though it makes him sound like a dick to countless LGBTs and there hetro-supporters … And Shane A. has expressed his opinion in un-dick-like and dick-like fashion numerous times on this post trying to defend his attendance.
    Yeah, I’m calling you out man. Those three mayors you’re bitching about have local and state laws in their city’s and state’s that require that they investigate businesses that don’t have fair hiring practices (including allowing or disallowing new locations to open). So yes they were jumping on the political press band wagon and making a stink, but they also have a legal leg to stand on in making those threats. If they didn’t have a legal leg to stand on don’t you think their legal and press relations teams would have said “this is a bad idea, lets not weigh in on this issue until we know which way the wind is blowing.” I think you stood in solidarity with bigots and now your trying extra hard to defend yourself because you feel bad that you did that. Boycotts are the social consequence of running your mouth and if you were misguided or a true-believer of free speech it doesn’t change the fact that you stood in solidarity with a bunch of other people whose stated belief is that gay is bad and wrong.
    I think what Wil is trying to get across about the food being shitty is not so much the taste but the content. I mean donuts and Big Macs taste good too but we should all know by now that they are pretty shitty for our bodies.
    In closing Chick-Fil-A is kind of a non-issue for me. I never ate there because the one we had in my area for a short time closed because no one ate there. I have tried very hard to stop eating any fast food because it is bad for me. I do think it was clever for Disney/The Muppets to pull their toys and pull this into the national lime light (even though I dislike some of the ways Disney as a corporation abuses its copyright powerhouse). In the end I am more concerned about the presidential election than a fast food joint; when those two lines cross though it is important to look at all sides and make your decision with not only your vote but also your actions. Although your original statement may have harsh Wil, I do believe there are occasions where can’t be nice about it … you just have to get in there and be a dick and let the chips fall where they may. I think this was one of those times. I do understand why you as the king of nice had to write a post to clarify and calm.

  9. I was just at the Klan barbecue to support their right to free speech and enjoy some ribs! I’m not really a racist! How dare you call me that!

  10. Except sexuality, much like race, is not a choice. I don’t hate you or your post but to imply sexuality is a choice is to argue in favor of the religious who believe it is a choice. The individual is free to believe in what ever crazy religion he/she wants, but the individual does not have the right to organize with a bunch of other individuals who believe the same crazy thing and take away the rights of some other individual that he/she enjoys because his/her religion tells us that its wrong. Believe me, I know a lot about believing in crazy things, I was raised Roman Catholic, hid behind Agnosticism, dabbled in Hinduism and Kirsna consciousness, and then decided that I am a Atheist Dude of the Church of the Later Day Dude. I totally understand your “agree to disagree” “can’t we all just get along” idea but the LGBT community has lived in fear for long enough and it is not wrong to fight for their equal standing among the rest of us.

  11. “Here, here!” to your thoughtful response to what sounds like a nasty situation. You’ve hit just the right mix of humility and sticking to your guns. However, I have a suspicion about the people who so criticized your original tweet. Like you said, they may not be bigots, but it’s also possible that they don’t want to be *called* bigots because they haven’t accepted that that’s what they are. It seems like there was a lot of confusion among this crowd about hate speech v. free speech. They’re not the same thing, and if your critics realized this, I wonder how many of them would look back and agree that they *were* being bigots after all.

  12. I don’t know why I’m bothering to respond to this because you’re pretty trolly, but but here it goes. When your so called “morals” deny people equal rights, yes it is OK to “hate” on them. I’m sure many who were against inter-racial marriage and civil rights belived it was a moral issue too.
    Wil, I stand in complete support of you. You’re a huge ally to the LGBT community and we appreciate it greatly. Well, at least I do.
    I don’t understand this whole defense of free speech thing at all. It’s Chick-Fil-A guy’s right to spend money on hate organizations that want to deny me, a gay man, my rights. It’s my (and countless others’) right to not eat there. I don’t see how anyone’s free speech is being impeded.

  13. I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say here. Should I just get along with people who are trying to deny me equal rights? Just “let it slide”? Why?

  14. I fully support free speech, and the right of a person to express their opinion, even if it’s ignorant or I disagree with it.
    However, to those who aren’t opposed to same-sex marriage but decided to go to Chick Fil A to support the free speech of a certain individual, I have this to say:
    I wish you would have given a few more minutes of thought to your decision. There are many much better ways to support free speech without putting money in the pocket of a man like that. Like it or not, you supported his hate-mongering as much or more as you supported free speech.

  15. I haven’t visited your blog in a fair while, but I’m glad I read this post. Thank you. Maybe one day my partner will not have to choose between staying in the UK with me or being in America with her family.

  16. okay I’ll ad one more thing to this. It isn’t about what the ceo said , but what the company has done, not only did the ceo but the coporation also gave millions to anti marriage equality groups. The company itself by its support of known hate groups and anti-mariage equality groups has shown its bigotry, bias, and hatred for the gay community. Actions have meaning words have hot air.

  17. I don’t disagree with you that my statement was a generalization. It was, although I never used the word “all” and I was mainly referring to personal experiences with ultra-conservative fundamentalist members of my family and most of my co-workers. In my personal experience, I’ve never met, seen or heard of a Christian who was not bigoted in some way against some group of people. I am excluding from this list a few misguided but still awesome Unitarian acquaintances, because I do not personally consider Unitarians to be Christians. And yes, I am sorry, but agreeing with the Catholic Church on the this issue does, indeed, make you a bigot. And once again, this really does not have anything at all to do with free speech.

  18. But, see that’s the beauty of the whole concept of an unabashed opinion. It requires neither discussion, consent, acceptance, explanation, nor a “reasoned” conclusion. It is up to the giver to decide if he/she wants to discuss, debate, explain, or otherwise follow-up to his/her opinion. If the person giving the opinion has followers who agree with the opinion, then a “reasoned” conclusion has been reached.
    I did not realize that you are Canadian and did not know about Chick-fil-A. I will try not to assume as much in the future.

  19. It’s not a matter of finding a non-Catholic charity, it’s a matter of that it does not bother me to have picked a Catholic charity. That is besides the point, however. I chose Friends of the Orphans to honor Molly Hightower. It had nothing to do about who actually ran the charity. I was actually against aid to Haiti because I felt that the attention was focused there and not toward the afflicted here in the Untied States. When I read about Molly shortly after the earthquake I change my mind.(It’s nice to have the benefit of flexible beliefs) Do you not believe that any person or organization can do incredibly good things even though he/she or it has done, or is continuing to do, what would be viewed by some as bad things? Look at yourself. I am sure that you done bad in your life. I’m sure that the good that you’ve done has overshadowed and outweighed that. We are all flawed, but it is the great things we do that deem us good.

  20. Okay, I get that you weren’t trying to generalize and you were mainly targeting people you know. I actually wanted to delete that part of my response;, however, I did not think about doing it in time. Hence, my addendum. Since you did explain your comments, I will say that maybe you should have been more clear on who you were targeting.
    As for agreeing with the Catholic Church making me a bigot, I never wrote that I agreed with it. I merely stated that I give to a Catholic-based charity. It does not matter to me who runs the charity. I give for a specific purpose; that being to honor Molly Hightower. If that makes me a bigot, then it makes her a bigot too. She died for her cause of helping the children of Haiti. What have you done for your cause lately?
    As far as the freedom of speech reason being, in your opinion, just an excuse or a farce, let me try to explain it where you can understand (I don’t mean to sound condescending) At least three mayors of major U.S. cities stated that they would ban Chick-fil-A operations in those cities based solely on the private opinion of the chief operating officer of that company. They did not threaten the ban because of the company’s operating principles because they would have done so earlier in time. These are mayors who represent the government. As it is only the government that can give, suppress, or otherwise penalize a person’s freedom of speech, the mayors of these cities were trying to penalize Dan Cathy’s freedom of speech by threatening to ban the company he works for and partly owns. Any government interference does not sit well with me, so I felt it was my conviction to support Chick-fil-A, and to an extent Dan Cathy, on this issue. As just merely saying that I support CFA on this issue was not enough (words are not enough and most of the time worthless), I realized I needed to support CFA financially at least once. If it had been just a group like LGBT railing against CFA I would not have cared about supporting CFA, but it was the effing government. Tell me, if a mayor, or mayors, had wanted to ban a company that advocates your cause wouldn’t you want to show support to that company by any actions you could? Many others feel the same way that I do. That is why it was partly, not wholly, about free speech. Oh, and by the way, it was the first time I’ve eaten at CFA in at least five years partly because I do not like their philosophy. But just this once the greater issue of freedom of speech outweighed my personal opinion about CFA. That is why, to me, it was about freedom of speech. I don’t care if you disagree as long as you understand. Lastly, I did not eat there on that Wednesday….I do not subscribe to the herd mentality nor will I be influenced by what a political pundit says to do.

  21. Personally, I think it’s a false equivalency. Cathy is working to prevent me and others like me from getting the same rights as heterosexuals in this country. He was not stopped from saying what he wanted to say–he continues to do so and now with even more money from all the people who ate chicken on that day. No one infringed on his freedom of speech–even those mayors didn’t actually do anything to prevent him from doing business in those cities. Preventing people from having equal rights is not the same as calling someone a bigot for espousing bigoted principals.

  22. It’s not wrong to fight for equality. What is wrong is to respond to percieved “hate” with hate. Not only doesn’t that solve anything, but makes matters worse by reinforcing the hate.

  23. I’m not saying let it slide at all. I’m saying no matter what side you’re on, try to find out the real reason the other person is angry. Try to imagine why someone would stand in line other than to deny equal rights. I can think of at least one reason, and that reason was given by Wil in his blog. There are more. Can you at least try to think of any?

  24. Yes, I understand the argument to be made that it was a different time back them. However, people must be willing to take casualties in the name of their cause. You can never escape the casualties if you are going to successfully fight for or defend your cause. It is inevitable. By waiting all these years to further the LGBT cause, thousands of LGBT members suffered and became casualties without lifting a finger to fight for or defend their cause. The proponents and recipients of civil rights for blacks did not wait for the right time, they fought for and defended their cause from 1865 all the way to the present. The Jews, Christians, the American colonies, nations of Africa, and all manner of oppressed groups throughout human history did not wait for the right time, they fought and defended in the here and now. Do you think that people like Martin Luther King,Jr., Gandhi, and, even, Jesus Christ would have laid down and rolled over if they knew that furthering their cause would mean their deaths. HELL NO! Like I said, there are casualties in any defense or fight for a cause. The smart thing is to figure if the cause is worth it and if the participants are willing to endure it. So, to say that nothing could have been done until mass media could inform the populaces is just a cop-out.
    As for Dan Cathy “opening his mouth,” nothing would have happened if those mayors hadn’t threatened Chick-fil-A, Mike Huckabee et al. hadn’t of attacked, and the LGBT hadn’t counter attacked. So, in essence, either nobody was wrong or everybody were wrong in this issue.

  25. Thank you for providing a reference, I stand corrected on not knowing any groups try to take pro-LGBT companies to task. I wish there were more people like you that will cite references in a debate rather than just replying with empty rhetoric. As far as not wanting OMM seeing traffic come from this site, why care? The context of why it would be coming from this site is true, why pander to what OMM members think or opine? I never said it was wrong for LGBT to boycott Chick-fil-A. It’s not wrong. It is the right of any group or person to boycott any company that person or group wants with or without reason. In fact, I don’t think that the word “boycott” was ever written by me about this issue on the various medias that I use. As far as the “right” is concerned, I neither advocate nor defend them, I concern myself with the center.

  26. There you go, that’s what I mean. If you feel that way about people’s actions, let them know! Just don’t get fueled by hate. You did a good job above.

  27. Funny how you cited how Adam Smith’s employer firing him for what he said is not a violation of his freedom of speech but neglected to mention how the government (via self-righteous mayors)tried to penalize Dan Cathy’s opinion is not a violation of his freedom of speech.
    Do you know why?
    Because you can’t. One “oppressor” is an employer who can’t “violate” free speech because it does not have the power to grant freedom of speech, the other “oppressor” is the government, which does have the power to grant freedom of speech, thus it has the power to violate the freedom of speech. So, in fact, there is no “misunderstanding” when it comes to “our” knowledge of what freedom of speech is.

  28. And there aren’t two reasonable sides why? Because you believe and say that there aren’t? Ha! People like you will never believe people who say it’s a matter of free speech no matter how much we try to explain it to you. This is because you want to pigeon-hole us in to one category: Chick-fil-A worshipers who are against same-sex marriage and “hayte dem gay queers.” You do this because it makes you feel comfortable because you refuse to understand the real and different reasons that most people have for being on the opposing side. To do so might confound you. You can continue to blindly call me a bigot. This is not your freedom of speech, but your opinion, which I respect your right to give. Just remember; however, that I will not stoop or resort to calling you an insulting, defaming, and baseless label.

  29. Do you know that the ACLU fights the law that makes pilot, train operators, or operators of public transportation get drug tested if they are in an accident while doing their jobs? Do you know that the ACLU is against registration for sex offenders? Those are some of the “bad” things that the ACLU does, but they are overshadowed by the good things that the ACLU does to promote free speech. Point is, when you give your money to the ACLU to further free speech you are also giving to further the “bad” things that the ACLU does. It is the same thing that when I gave my money to CFA to support free speech, I inadvertently and unintentional gave to further their “hate.” Funny how that works, huh?

  30. No Socrates, I don’t regret a thing and I need not defend my actions. I will explain them if I feel I need to. I WAS NOT in solidarity with anyone. You can “call me out” all you want, it’s not gonna change a thing nor would I care that you did. Those mayors blatantly stated that they wanted and threatened to ban Chick-fil-A specifically, as one mayor put it, CFA does not share the “values” of their cities. Nothing was ever mentioned of the reason being because that CFA violated a damn thing. How many mayors you know of “investigate” a business by publicly threatening to ban them and then ridicule that business? As far as the “press teams” go, they say “yes” to the politician that they work for, point blank. And where does everybody get this idea that I was for or against boycotting? I never mentioned such thing. The only thing that I agree with you on your spiel about me is that you stated that you believed that I was at times being a dick and at other times I was not. This I think is cool and respect you for.

  31. Who defines “harmed?” If I call you a nasty name, I have “harmed” you; however, if I falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded building I have also “harmed” those who get trampled in the ensuing panic. I’m sure you know the difference in importance between the two.

  32. Just one thing, shortly, since I’ve already debated you. Remember, Adolph Hitler was a minor politician at one time. Point being, you may think that these mayors are minor politicians (and there were three or more), but that is how suppression starts. Remember, one of them, the mayor of the third largest city in the U.S., used to be President Obama’s chief of staff and more likely still has his ear. That is power for such a minor politician. Be it the President or the local dog catcher, violation of a person’s freedom of speech by a employee of the government in his/her official capacity as such is wrong on any level.

  33. Can it, you coward. This was such a disingenuous bunch of malarkey, stick with the jackbooted thuggish behavior so representative of progressive politics.
    Don’t backtrack now, punk. You put your foot in it. Now wear it.
    And as far as charity work you suggest, those that supported Chick-Fil-A for “religious reasons”, do far more than charity than you bunch of phony, irrelevant libs have done or will ever do on your best day.
    Your idea of charity is to force feed Caesar, then allow Caesar to divvy as he pleases.
    You’re not fooling anybody, Wesley but the same bunch of small minded loons who live in the same bubble you do.

  34. <-----Eats at Chick-fil-A to support free speech and does not hate or is against LGBT personally...called a "bigot."
    <-----Eats at Starbuck's, shops at Home Depot, criticizes others who boycott those places because those places are LGBT friendly. STILL A BIGOT.
    <-----wonders why he is called a bigot if he shops at LGBT friendly places, even if that isn't his reason for doing so. STILL A BIGOT.
    <-----does not have any LGBT friends, but has friends who happen to be LGBT (there's a difference). STILL A BIGOT. (even though it's an insult to his friends who happen to be LGBT)
    See where I'm going with this?

  35. LOL, you know what I see? A guy trying to argue with everyone. Fact is you sat down and had lunch with one group of people severely confused about what free speech is and another group of people who are staunch queer hatin’ bigots. So you weren’t in solidarity of free speech, you’re not a bigot … you’re just a guy who likes those damn good chicken sandwiches and happened to grab one on the wrong day and took offense to Wil Wheatons’ righteous anger being smitten upon you from the internet. You don’t have to explain your actions to me or anyone, but it sure seems by all your posts you can’t stop pointing out how right you are.
    I think Chick-Fil-A should be ridiculed, hell even banned. There are plenty of people who would serve greasy chicken to the masses without hating on the LGBT community (KFC comes to mind amongst others).
    You can convince me your a decent guy with an open ear (respect, bumps, shot of whiskey, shotgun beer [that's how we roll!]), but your never going to convince me that there is one iota of good that can possibly come out off Chick-Fil-A or that Wil was wrong for trashing the solidarity BS or that I should start shopping at Wal-Mart* again. There are some things no amount of arguing can achieve. I believe not spending my money at a corporate chain who denigrates a minority does some good in the world and I think Mr. Casey should be “publicly sodomized while wearing a chicken suit with the ass cut out**.” I don’t expect to convince you of my point of view … and no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
    * Just a random example I pulled from my nether regions.
    **
    Admittedly this is something I should apologize for and probably should never have written but I left it there for those that once upon a time read the rants of Bob Cock on Primussucks.com because not enough people in the world read his posts and not enough people in the world are snarfing milk through their nose laughing.

  36. Awe, I don’t think that of you. Misguided and crazy, but definitely not a bigot. I think I would enjoy having many a beer with you and arguing until we were both so trashed we couldn’t stand up to pee anymore.

  37. Hey Wil, it’s very big of you to walk back your tweet, but I don’t think it was required. You’re not a jerk for pointing out that bigots are jerks. And bigots who try to hide behind “free speech” to avoid being called out on it are still bigots. Jen McCright of freethoughtblogs.com had a similar reaction when she tweeted: “I love seeing the long lines at Chick-Fil-A. It’s not often you get to watch the last desperate gasp of bigotry before it loses.” Of course, the reaction to that tweet was heated, to say the least. Here’s her blog post about said reaction. I think it’s spot on: http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/so-you-were-just-called-a-bigot/

  38. There is a rule that says when you are in a hole stop digging, some points.
    While I’m delighted at your acknowledgement of constitutional rights I’m afraid you have chosen to define yourself poorly
    By your explanation any person who follows a religion that disagrees with your is a bigot, that would include all Christians, Buddhists (yes Buddhism rejects homosexuality but that’s not emphasized in the press, too many in the left like it) and of course Islam (Where their expression of dislike veers to the point of barbarism and murder but I digress).
    It also means that apparently until just a few years ago the vast majority of the population of the US was populated by bigots, all 18th, 19th & 20th century presidents were bigots from FDR, to JFK. A considerable amount of black ministers are apparently bigots and until just a few months ago our current president was a bigot, until he saw the light (or the green but whatever).
    Normally I would give the simple logical line that if you allow marriage to be redefined once you can again and there is no rational basis to forbid polygamy if you allow gay marriage (see this post http://datechguyblog.com/2008/12/23/richard-cohen-narcissist-or-bigot/ on the ick factor from a few years ago) and my argument that this is all about narcissism …
    …but as I’ve gotten older I’ve decided I’ve had my fill of people throwing words like “bigot” around unanswered, therefore by calling those who follow Christians “Bigots” you and those who agree with that designation label yourselves “anti-christian zealots” (or anti Buddhists or anti Muslim etc you get the picture).
    Sicilians as a rule generally don’t tarry places where they are not wanted, if my friend Jimmie Bise Sundries Shack was not down I might have commented there instead, but so be it. I’ve enjoyed your work, both in TNG and as one of the early bloggers and you’ve turned a small role in Big Bang Theory into something great.
    But if me and mine aren’t wanted that’s fine, I’ll just wish you luck on the blog and be on my way.

  39. You define it, Shane. Everyone should define it for themselves. Combine that with a reasonable sense of understanding about when we are being an asshole or not, and that oughta be a pretty decent guide on what not to do.

  40. Freedom of speech means anyone can have and voice their opinion. It does not mean their opinion is valid or fair.
    I’m all for the Chik-fil-A guy voicing his opinion. I’ll never argue that he’s wrong for doing so. He can scream until he turns blue for all I care. However, because he puts his money where is mouth is and I do not agree with his opinion, I will not buy his product and thus support him. That’s been the case for years, when Chik-fil-A first came out as homophobic. There’s no change for me now. (In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten there, though there are a few around me – it’s just not my thing, so admittedly, it’s not a huge sacrifice for me.)
    I will continue to avoid anything that supports Chik-fil-A because I will continue to voice my opinion that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right that should be granted. (Unless one takes away all associations with marriage in the eyes of the law, but that won’t happens, so…) As Chik-fil-A man can scream, so can I, and I scream for equality. As he puts his money where his mouth is, so do I.
    That’s it in a nutshell for me.
    As for eating there being about freedom of speech? I call BS, or at least a lack of understanding. Opposing an opinion does not mean that one wants to silence that opinion. As I said, he can scream all he wants, but when one screams, one has to accept the consequences of one’s actions. If one screams hate, one gets punished for it. I’m all for standing up for one’s beliefs, and even admire that, but if your belief is outdated and hateful, well, stand up all you want. I support your right to do so. But I won’t support your cause.
    This post is diplomatic, Wil, and for those misguided souls who truly believe they were supporting freedom of speech by eating chicken, well, I guess your apology is valid, but like others here, I think your first statement was closer to the truth.

  41. Wil,
    Thank you for the apology. I appreciate it. I, for one, did not stand in line for hours in 110+ degree heat for the sole reason that I didn’t want to be told WHEN to protest, either by Mike Huckabee or the LGBT community. Chick-Fil-A has, for years, supported the charities that it supports and I wonder where the organized outrage was back then (maybe I missed it) and I also wonder why NOW.
    I’m glad that you decide to vote with your dollars regarding the charities that a business supports but I also hope that you take time and energy to investigate a business more deeply than just being told a company “supports hate”. Do you know where Target sends their money? How about the manufacturers of Brawny paper towels. The folks that make little plastic toys in China? The hot dog vendor at the ball game? The guy with the taco cart? How about the folks running the garage sale down the street?
    If you learn of something that a business does that you don’t agree with, by all means take your business somewhere else. But understand that just because that knowledge came to you easily (you were told of it by someone else) really doesn’t remove the mantle of responsibility from you to learn the same of every place with which you do business. You have learned that Chick-Fil-A does not support same sex marriage. Do you now, therefore, boycott every businessman who gives money to a charity that does not support same sex marriage? If so, then I feel that you are bound to determine this first prior to doing business with anyone. Otherwise your outrage isn’t applied fairly and is controlled soley based on what “outrage flavor of the moment” that others want to steer your emotions with.
    One should apply the same standard across the board or one teeters on the edge of hypocrisy (aka, being a dick)

  42. So what about those Christians who believe, based on the clear teaching of the Bible, that all sex outside of marriage is wrong?
    Should those pastors and priests be forced to perform weddings for same-sex couples? Should those churches be forced to accept as members people who don’t hold to the basic tenets of their faith?
    Perhaps those “bigots”, as you call them, should be given some kind of distinctive mark to wear, say a yellow cross, so that all of you enlightened non-bigots can know who those people unworthy to be citizens are.
    Yeah. That might work.
    /s

  43. Which is hilarious since NOBODY is forcing any religious people to preform ANY marriage they disagree with. Or accept members, hell we even let churches handle poisonous snakes in their services.
    So your “persecution of churches” point, which even if you’re being sarcastic, is one that many tote out and is totally invalid.

  44. http://exministries.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/pastor-scott-lively-is-sued-for-preaching-against-homosexuality/
    Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster sued after a religious group denied the use of a beachside pavilion the couple had wanted to use as the site of their wedding. The couple won. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486340
    Another article about the same case. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-rules-christian-facility-cannot-ban-same-sex-civil-union-ceremony-on/
    The United Methodist Church teaches, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” and that “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.”
    But Judge Metzger said church doctrine was irrelevant. “As to ‘free exercise’ [of religion], the LAD is a neutral law of general application designed to uncover and eradicate discrimination; it is not focused on or hostile to religion,” he wrote. The free exercise clause did not factor into his ruling, he stated, but “a much lower standard that tolerates some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.”
    and this one.
    Christian Photographer Who Refused Gay Wedding Lost Lawsuit http://scottfillmer.com/2008/07/06/christian-photographer-refused-gay-wedding/
    So I guess you’re right that it has never happened–except when it has.

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