Thursday, November 13, 2008

Boycotts, protests, and resignations

The discussion in the thread below has tackled the thorny issue of the idea of boycotting companies or individuals for their support of Prop-8/hate. On the face of it, yeah, sure! our reaction is, boycott anyone who supported it! but real life is messy and I think we need to consider that we live in shades of gray, not black and white. I think we all need to examine our consciences before we make sweeping decisions.

Item: the Marriott hotel chain, a publicly owned company, has a perfect rating from the Human Rights Campaign as a gay friendly employer.

So, does it matter that Marriott himself is a Mormon, who did not directly donate to Yes on 8? Is simply BEING a Mormon now an afront? What about the Catholics? It was their votes that hurt us. Are we starting a pogram against some religions? This makes me VERY uncomfortable--a company that is positive for our community, an owner who did not overtly support the proposition, being targeted.

But what about Brett Andrus, a major prop8 supporter who owns several Mariotts in Utah? Does it make more sense to boycott him? Or Doug Manchester in San Diego, owner of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, who gave $125,000 but who says his hotel "welcomes" gays and lesbians. (He's Catholic). What about boycotting them? These men both made major material contributions for Prop8, so it seems more justified to target them.

Item: The artistic director of the California Musical Theatre "resigned" after his $1000 donation to Yes-on-8 became known.

How is it any different, when gays hound a conservative to lose his jobs, from conservatives firing a gay for being homosexual? Yes, it is hard to think that those we work with would hurt us so casually. But in this country, even the bad guys have free speech.

Item: The owner of EL Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles gave $100 to the campaign because her (Mormon) church told her to. Her restaurant, which employs gays and is considered gay friendly, is now being boycotted.

So, the owner made a minimal contribution under pressure from her church. Unlike the hoteliers above who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars, she did the minimum. What is accomplished here?

Sure, some people aligned against us include bigots and haters, but they also include our co-workers, our friends, our family, and the people who will have to CHANGE THEIR VOTES and support us, if we are to repeal Prop8.

Boycotts should be rendered like a scalpel, not an axe. I think there is a huge difference in a $100 contribution and a $100,000 contribution. We have to be better than the hate-filled lying Yes-on-8 campaign, are and convert them to our side.

This is about hearts and minds, and winning them. We will continue to live, work, and for those inclined, pray with those who are against us. Let's remember that and bring them on board.

So if you are joining the protests this weekend, around the country, please remember:

Keep it peaceful. No violence to persons or property. Marriage is about love: by our love they will know us, haven't I heard that somewhere?

Keep it positive. Don't attack the Mormons or the Catholics. WIN THEM OVER. Surprising numbers of them are already with us....did I mention that my wedding had MAJOR Catholic participation? I am suggesting to my beloved that she make a sign that says "Gay - Married - Catholic!"

We can't simply rely on the courts. We have to win the people too.

41 comments:

Mike in Texas said...

So at what point do you think contributions to the campaign of lies and defamation become significant?

Personally, I feel that bigotry in any amount, no matter how small, is signicant.

I also feel that people such as the owner of the the Mexican restaurant and that theater director have to learn the lesson that their actions have consequences no matter how much they try to hide behind the shrubbery of "belief." Actions are not beliefs.

Yesterday I have leared that the CEO of Cinemark Theaters gave $9,999.00 to the campaign of lies and defamation. They run 2700 screens in 13 countries in North and South America.

I'll certainly be spending my movie money in other places.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a bright line, Mike in TX. I think each of us has to figure where that line is. IS there a difference between $100 and $10,000? I think so. You don't. Fair enough.

I suppose in a religious sense, all are deserving of forgiveness. Not all of us are able to forgive, of course, and not all of us can forgive everyone.

And I am also wary of collateral damage -- people whose livelihoods and wellbeing may be impacted through no fault of their own.

Finally, my belief is that some people are educable, and some aren't. Generosity from our side may make more of a difference to the woman at the restaurant, than to Doug Manchester.

At some point we need to turn away from punishment and recrimination to trying to rebuild and expand our support. I think we can turn her into a supporter--but not if we attack her relentlessly.

IMHO.

IT

Paul M said...

I have my own personal list of companies I prefer not to patronize. Most are not worth the effort of an organized campaign. Any campaign to overturn Prop 8 will have to pick its battles carefully. There are never enough resources to fight every possible battle. Righteous indignation may be justified, but it does not constitute a strategy.

There is also a difference between individuals and corporations. Speaking only for myself, there was a time when I didn't support same sex marriage. My personal evolution has occurred over many years. I was fortunate that my gay friends gave me time and space to make that journey. If I had woken up one morning to find protesters on my front lawn, I suspect it would have been counterproductive in my case.

James said...

There is a hge difference between 100 - 1000 dollars and tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars. In my opinion, of course.

There were other options and he took them - apology and donate to a GLBT organization. that was enough - that and the embarrassment

Another sad part of this is damage has been done to the man. There was a chance that he would change his mind about gay rights. Or, perhaps he belives in civil rights for gays, but he was caught in the web of his church leaders telling him to donate to a cause he didn't truly believe in.

Now, every time he sees, reads or hears anything about the GLBT community, he will think "the f****s who got me fired."

JCF said...

Now, every time he sees, reads or hears anything about the GLBT community, he will think "the f****s who got me fired."

Say Wha?

Who has been fired for their support of Prop 8?

In terms of boycotting H8 supporters, I think it's important to know who is repentant, and who isn't. I might even forgive a large $$$$ donor, IF they apologized, said they wouldn't do it again, and made some concrete sign of "amendment of life." (Equal $ amount NICE, but not required)

Conversely, if even a small donor was unrepentant, it's not like I'm required to give them my business? Who I patronize w/ MY (few!!!) $ is my perogative...

...and that's true of everybody here, too. (You may patronize a business that I wouldn't, IT: that's your right)

[Anybody remember the "Ellen" ep, post her coming out? She went through a phase of Newly-Minted Pride, where she was ONLY using the Lavendar Pages phonebook, for business.

After a series of crap gay plumbers who couldn't fix her leaky sink, she went back to her usual Joe Sixpack ass-crack plumber . . . only to find out HE was gay, too! *LOL*]

Anonymous said...

JCF, the director of the CA musical theatre apologized and made an equivalent donation to HRC but was still driven to resign. This is widely viewed as a forced resignation--or firing.

From the latest about Saturday's protest in my city:

We are also not targeting any religious or ethnic group. Our opposition wants our movement to appear divisive. We are going to reclaim and reframe the discussion. We are about gaining equal rights for all and ending bigotry and discrimination. This is a cause every proud American can support!


IT

FranIAm said...

This is a brilliant and well put post IT.

We all have different approaches to this and I like your reference to scalpel and axe.

That said, I understand that others may feel the need the be stronger, louder and clearer.

In the case of El Coyote, does it make sense to drive her out of business because her church told her to do this? I would rather focus my ire on the church, but I know I say that as a straight person in upstate NY. I respect that others feel differently.

This is like an insidious case of crabgrass and will be hard to weed out as a result.

That said, it needs weeding, badly.

Jane Ellen+ said...

From James: There was a chance that he would change his mind about gay rights. Or, perhaps he believes in civil rights for gays, but he was caught in the web of his church leaders telling him to donate to a cause he didn't truly believe in.

I keep hearing Romans 12 in my head...

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Boycotts can be effective as a teaching tool and form of respectful dissension; wielded, as you note, as a scalpel instead of an axe. But if it's simply a way of getting even, then how is that less wrong than any other sort of revenge?

Anonymous said...

Good point, Jane Ellen, and that quote about overcoming evil with good would make a great poster for the demonstration. ;-)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I was fortunate that my gay friends gave me time and space to make that journey. If I had woken up one morning to find protesters on my front lawn, I suspect it would have been counterproductive in my case.¨

I´m defiant also...however, I´ve turned my defiance into tenacity and stayed ¨put¨ while giving my heterosexual friends, family, associates a lifetime of room to yammer on and on in a mostly negative, and sometimes vile, way about people like me.

No more space (unless avoiding a dangerous personal threat).

JCF said...

because her church told her to do this

Geez louise: that excuse didn't fly at Nurenberg, and I think the Nazis were a wee bit more "or else" than the Mormon church! :-0

CBS News covered this story tonight: I thought it was rather biased (in favor of "po' lil' publicly-exposed Prop 8 supporters". Ack.)

In thinking about our OTHER main concern around here (though not much lately! *g*), Matters Episcopal/Anglican (see re Ex-Bishop Duncan, or xSchofield, or soon to be xIker), there's been a consistent lesson: Actions Have Consequences.

Betray your ordination vows, and Get De' Boot.

Same w/ Prop H8: betray the very CREED of the USA, "All are Created Equal", against me---and you're NOT getting my spending money (and if your employer chooses to see that as "You will no longer be effective in your job", that's between your employer and you).

One Will Shakespeare put it so well: "Prick me, do I not bleed?"

dr.primrose said...

Story on the boycott posted on the L.A. Times website this afternoon -- Prop. 8 boycott talk spreads to movies and more.

***

The boycott effort against businesses whose owners backed Proposition 8 appears to be picking up steam.

Dozens of groups have sprouted up on Facebook.com urging its members to boycott businesses -- restaurants, jewelry stores, car-repair shops and more. Other activists have gone onto Yelp.com and other business rating sites, posting messages telling users which restaurants donated to the "Yes on 8" campaign.

There has also been talk of a boycott of the Cinemark movie chain, whose CEO gave money to "Yes on 8." This could have a major effect on the Sundance Film Festival, which uses the chain's theaters to show movies.

The actions have alarmed supporters of Prop. 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

"Since Proposition 8’s victory, a series of protests against churches, small businesses and individual supporters of traditional marriage have taken place in cities across the state," Ron Prentice, chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, wrote in a statement. "Tragically, some opponents of Prop. 8 who claim to cherish tolerance and civil rights are unabashedly trampling on the rights of others. Protests and boycotts have taken place against a Hispanic restaurant owner in Los Angeles, African American religious leaders in the Bay Area, and a musical theater director in Sacramento, among many others."

Robert Hoehn, vice president of Hoehn Motors in San Diego County, gave $25,000 of his own money to the Yes-on-8 campaign in February. And he called what followed “a really really ugly experience.”

Before the vote, Hoehn said, he he received “dozens and dozens and dozens of really vitriolic messages” and his Honda dealership was picketed. Since the proposition won, he said, he has received a few messages and phone calls denouncing his support for the measure.

It started with a handful of restaurants including L.A. institution El Coyote, where one of the owners contributed money to the "Yes on 8" campaign. Gay-rights activists have threatened a boycott, but the owners say so far they have not noticed a drop in business. The restaurants targeted include chains such as El Pollo Loco, El Pollo Loco, Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, Yard House and more.

There is now chatter about a "gay day off," in which activists would simply not buy anything.

The Cunning Runt said...

IT, I have the link to "action locations" up at my place as well. I'll be in Northampton, MA with my daughter and new daughter-in-law on Saturday (rumor has it that Local Hero Rachel Maddow may speak,) and you'll be in my thoughts.

dr.primrose said...

Here's an interesting story on a topic we've discussed before. A Roman Catholic priest has ex-communicated all his parishioners who voted for Obama -- Priest: No communion for Obama supporters. The story begins:

***

A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote

***

This would seem to have some implications connected with the IRS regulations barring churches from supporting or opposing political candidates.

I'm sure he'd say he wasn't opposing Obama -- he was just telling them that they could vote for whomever they wanted. It's just that if they voted for Obama, they'd burn in hell for all eternity. Wonder if he's a Jesuit?!

James said...

Ron Prentice, chairman of ProtectMarriage.com, wrote in a statement. "Tragically, some opponents of Prop. 8 who claim to cherish tolerance and civil rights are unabashedly trampling on the rights of others.

And what the bloody hell do they think they did?

This is a perfect example of how the bigots think. His words should be printed in all of our publicity to show how utterly ignorant they are.

MarkBrunson said...

What I'm hearing is a lot of anger, little compassion, which is exactly the attitude which made everyone so upset about the minority vote on Prop 8.

No. I'm not in favor of a witch-hunt - I realize that is a loaded term, but it really is what I'm hearing advocated.

Let me put it to you in these terms: I opposed our state's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. That, too, is a matter of record. It passed. I live in a very conservative state. Would you be as quick to justify a boycott that lost me my job, in an uncertain economy, because "actions have consequences?"

Our side does not make us the good guys - our actions and motivations do. All I'm asking is that you ask that we look deeply and honestly at our positions . . . especially for targeting individuals. Companies are, I believe, different - though even there there are individuals who depend on the company to live!

I saw mention of Nuremberg. Keep in mind, "He did it first!" didn't fly on the playground.

JCF said...

Our side does not make us the good guys - our actions and motivations do.

Our "side", Mark---LGBT people---are Good, Bad, and Middling (by our actions).

That's simply not the point.

We're punished NOT for what we do, but who we are (in this case, who we are in our spousal relationships---punished because they're not opposite-sex ones).

And THAT is Bad!

And I'm going to say so.

...and I'm not going to reward Bad behavior, corporate *OR* individual, w/ my $ (if I can help it).

[OCICBW, but didn't the bus company of Montgomery, Alabama, have an individual owner, or president? Where would this nation be today (Today! With 1/20/09 that can't come quickly enough! ;-D), if in 1955 MLKJr (et al black folk) had been too reticent to "target" that po' Bus Boss, w/ their boycott?]

***

I'll give the Popoids this much: they have a great term, scrupulousity.

That's the SIN of being so fearfully obsessed with doing Wrong, that one becomes paralyzed (failing to do Right).

Enough w/ the scruples already, and back to the struggle to overturn Prop H8?

Tim said...

There's a hard reality about boycotts we have to consider: unless they're sufficiently organized and long-lived to make the offenders "feel the pain," they're more apt to be viewed as quick-rising storms that will blow over. If we think about the ones that worked--the grape boycott in the Seventies, for example, or the boycott against improperly harvested tuna--they amassed supporters over time until the impact truly affected the bottom line.

If we intend to use boycotts to drive home the injustice of Prop 8 and others, we should prepare ourselves for the long haul and focus our recruitment efforts outside our immediate circles. In the meantime, particularly with small business owners like El Coyote's, we might do better to patronize their establishments and use the occasion to express our displeasure and disappointment as paying customers. If we pick up and leave the scene entirely, our opinions and satisfaction no longer matter. But if an owner keeps hearing over and over how unhappy his/her regular customers are about something, it's highly likely whatever that is will get fixed.

Above all else, though, I have to agree with Jane Ellen. Our motives must be pure, free of all sense of retaliation and intended suffering. We can't forget our goal is convincing others their actions were harmful to others, and therefore incorrect, without challenging their correctness as Americans to express their opinions and vote their conscience. Setting out to harm them belies our cause.

If we judge them rather than their actions, writing them off as bad people rather than good people who make bad decisions, we can be sure we'll suffer the same kind of misjudgments. Jesus told us so.

Social change and democratic discourse aren't easily achieved or sustained. The stronger side has to rise above the rock-throwing and hysteria to guide the weaker one to better ideas by example. (Romans says a lot about that, too.) Whatever we do in response to these unfortunate outcomes, we have to take care that we're stronger, smarter, and kinder than our opponents, lest they accuse us of the very attitudes and actions we're trying to change.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Our "side", Mark---LGBT people---are Good, Bad, and Middling (by our actions).

That's simply not the point.

We're punished NOT for what we do, but who we are (in this case, who we are in our spousal relationships---punished because they're not opposite-sex ones).

And THAT is Bad!

And I'm going to say so.¨ JCF

Me too! It has nothing to do with being a well-organized punishing machine directed against ignorant individuals...but, it does have to do with supporting, encouraging, and enabling vile behavior against LGBT customers/friends/family and fellow citizens...I intend, as ONE person, to say NO to those who would, and do, harm me and people like me in my everyday life...enough with the ¨let´s be prudent¨ yammering...if anything, manipulating/targeting reactions is playing the power game and not dealing with bigotry face-to-face...until each one of us is personally responsible and says so/acts responsible, we´re still living in the cowardly/closeted past...understand, I´m not advocating we put ourselves in danger by facing down criminals and thugs (Mormons or IRD, or Fundies, Dominionists etc.) or taking violent actions against them...but, I am confirming that I will be unsupportive of their terror campaign and everyday destructive, to themselves and others, lives. They are obsessed and surely we UNDERSTAND the situation clearly and will stop with the codependent behavior.

Anonymous said...

Leonardo, I will agree that there is an organized and vile campaign against us. But not everyone who voted "yes" is one of them.

I really am very frustrated with the unwillingness of some of you to get past the anger to deal with the necessity of finding common ground with others, and converting them from enemies to supporters. I do not think strident anger and retaliation are the only weapons in our arsenal.

Let me also remind those who may not know that I am DEEPLY AND PERSONALLY affected by Prop8 far more than most folks here. My beloved and I are Californians and were married in October. These people are trying to rip up my marriage license and trust me, I feel personally violated.

I am hugely angry at the leaders of the mendacious, vicious Prop8 campaign, and the institutions that supported it like the Catholic Church and the Mormons. These people are hatefilled beyond measure.

But I believe that redemption and education are possible for individuals below those levels, people who may have been manipulated, or terrorized by the lies. I believe that people who come to their senses can be forgiven.

I believe that is something that Christians are supposed to understand. But what do I know, I'm an atheist.

IT

seithman said...

I respectfully disagree with you, IT. To explain why, I'd like to focus on the case of El Coyote. The woman of the restaurant has expressed shock and dismay that her gay friends and patrons have been so hurt by her actions. She goes on to say that she considers them an important part of her life.

Those two statements are contradictory in my opinion. How can one say that people be all that important in one's life and yet never bother to talk to them about issues that directly affect them.

And that's my issue here. I can only conclude that these people are shocked and dismayed by the reaction they received because they never actually talked to their "dear" gay friends about this issue. If they had taken the time and asked them how they felt about the issue and why, they would've had a better clue of what their support -- no matter how small -- of any attempt to deny them marital protections would be perceived and taken.

To be frank, far too many people don't want to know. They want to continue on in their beliefs that they're not really against gay people. And in some cases, they'll go to great lengths to continue in that delusion. (For an extreme example of this, see Jason Dabrowski's recent post about how a friend reacted when he asked her to try to put herself in his shoes and consider how she'd feel if someone tried to deny her the right to marry the man she loved.)

I'm all for winning hearts and educating people, but people have to be willing to be educated and have their hearts won over. And to be honest, people who vote for a proposition or donate (no matter how small) to the campaign promotiing it without even discussing the matter with their dear friends who will be affected by the vote's outcome don't strike me as falling into that category.

Anonymous said...

Well, seithman, if we just throw up our hands and scream "bigot" at every stupid "Yes" voter, we are just going to make them more intransigent. I'm not saying everyone is redeemable, but you folks seem to say no one is.

Here's what's going to happen.

1) If the suit claiming Prop8 is unconstitutional SUCCEEDS, the other side will up the ante and try to get it to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme court is loaded with conservative catholics who would love to find no right to marry for "teh gay". They will gleefully rule against us and set back gay rights for over a generation. Indeed, I bet that this would be used to overturn civil unions and DPs as well.

2) If the suit doesn't succeed, we have to get enough votes to repeal Prop8. Pray tell, if you don't try to redeem some of the opposition convert them to our thinking,and change their votes, what makes you think the results will be any different?


IT

seithman said...

Well, seithman, if we just throw up our hands and scream "bigot" at every stupid "Yes" voter, we are just going to make them more intransigent.

I haven't screamed bigot at anyone, let alone everyone. In fact, as a rule, I try to avoid using that word altogether.

I'm not saying everyone is redeemable, but you folks seem to say no one is.

Your perception of what I'm saying is inaccurate.

Anonymous said...

Apparently so is your perception of what I've written, seithman. I am not saying give everyone a pass. I'm saying we need to show some nuance.


IT

seithman said...

I am not saying give everyone a pass.

I never thought you were saying any such thing.

I also agree that nuance is necessary. I just disagree with some of your rationale for making the decision on who to boycott and who to give a pass. Most notably, I don't think the amount donated should be given much weight, if any at all.

-- Jarred.

seithman said...

For those interested, Timothy Kincaid has given a report on a luncheon that took place at El Coyote the other day. It was a chance for Margie and the rest of the restaurant staff to address gay patrons who were distressed at her donation to Yes On 8.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, seithman. I agree, the report on the meeting with the woman at El Coyote would make me revise my view on whether to consider patronizing that restaurant.

But I also commend the community for the response: rather than leaping immediately to a boycott, they sought a meeting to find out more. THAT'S the sort of finesse we need. There also needs to be a oncern for the "collateral damage" to friends that may result (such as the waitress.)

I do think, however, that we need to continue to reach out and educate people who just "don't get it" like this woman, or the one in the other blogpost to which you linked. Even if they don't have an immediate epiphany, we have to keep planting the seeds.

IT

JCF said...

I think we need to separate "voting for" and "financially supporting" Prop H8, IT.

No one knows who VOTED for H8---unless they tell us so. Which gives an opportunity for dialogue.

Now, I think that dialogue is ALSO a very good think w/ Prop H8 financial supporters, too.

But with the public record of H8's financial supporters (as well as its opponents: remember way back when I said "Check out opponents FIRST, to thank them"?), there's the added issue of whether one wants to pay $ to those who have a history of turning around and paying that $ towards Hate.

Separate issue, 'kay? Do I want my $ to go towards my own (or esp., yours and BP's!) oppression, IT?

I'd rather it didn't. ;-/

[As far as yelling at people goes, I've only ever done it to counter-demonstrators (typically "Shame! Shame!"). It may not be effective, but it's mainly to show we homos & he-shes are not afraid of them. OCICBW.]

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Let me also remind those who may not know that I am DEEPLY AND PERSONALLY affected by Prop8 far more than most folks here. My beloved and I are Californians and were married in October. IT

Oh please! Let´s stop the out bidding of the personal pain game! My 14 year relationship with my ¨beloved¨ ended in his murder and I refuse to have you instruct me on how to deal with my anger and how to deal with my loss (more than just him) because of OUR lack of legal protection. Enthusiastic, sometimes strident, I will remain in the forefront of my own life...I´m not much of a conniver anymore!

I will boycott and facedown whom I choose and when I choose...and I didn´t gain on personal courage and self-acceptance by operating as a anonymous person thinking I ¨know best¨! I found out I didn´t know shit about the depth of hate against you and me and that was a a large part of the problem! Pretending I was above the discriminating mess because of my self-imagined tolerance and wisdom was a BIG MISTAKE!

I recall wishing you well at the time of your marriage, IT and that was sincere...unfortunately we all knew that their were risks...you took them and so would I have taken them (if my dearone was American...but you see, that´s a whole different matter/example of discrimination that I WILL live with...right?).

JCF said...

Ahem.

Circular firing-squad?

As in, "Please do NOT form"?

BREATHE, everybody, and just Join The Impact!

Anonymous said...

Leonardo, I can only speak for myself.

I certainly do not and never would mean to minimize your past suffering. obviously we have different points of view...my point was simply to make it clear to those who do NOT know, that this is very personal to me too, so I'm not speaking from the outside.

We have MANY readers on this blog, only very few are those we "know", they don't know anything about either of us.

I'm sorry if you took what I said in a way I did not mean. But surely we can disgree on tactics yet still be allies and, I hope, friends, in the bigger struggle for ALL of us.

I love you, Leonardo, and would not mean to cause you pain.

IT

Counterlight said...

Mercy! Few other movements devour their own quite like ours. Let's cut each other some slack, and remember that we're all on the same team here.

Chill out folks, and show up at the rallies.

I'll be taking attendance.

Марко Фризия said...

When churches "tell" parishioners to donate to political causes, even $100 to support Prop 8 (like the owner of El Coyote) then the church should be paying tax on their donations. The woman could have simply not paid the $100 donation. I wouldn't eat at her restaurant or support any business person who financially supports ant-gay measures. This doesn't mean I hate all Mormons or Catholics. I don't hate anyone. This is more of a case-by-case issue about individuals who supported this legislation. The only issue I have with Mormons in general is that they baptized, by proxy, some of my ancestors who lived and died way before Mormonism was organized as a religion. I do not like their practice of baptizing dead people by proxy. If the woman from El Coyote gave $100 for anti-gay legislation, she should expect to lose business from customers who support Prop 8. Even Mormons and Catholics teach their members to respect God at work in their conscience. If she felt the donation was inappropriate, she shouldn't have made it. No malice to her, but no gay-friendly customers to her either.

Teddy G. said...

I don't see any difference between racism and anti-gay bigotry. If The El Coyote donated $1 (one dollar) to the KKK would you boycott them? I would. Why should we be soft on anti-gay bigots, but hard on racists. I don't patronize the businesses of known bigots. I don't care if El Coyote goes bankrupt. I hope they suffer financially for their support for bigotry. Let them feel what lbgtq person feels every day. Maybe that will teach them something about they way they hurt other people. This isn't hate. It is about honesty and justice. I would boycott El Coyote if they donated $0 but only verbally supported Prop 8. They are no better than the KKK or any other bigots. But I generally avoid businesses run by known GOP contributers.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dear IT,

Of course your opinion is yours to have (and I thank you for your loving and gracious tone after I got scrapy). My opinion is generated from some experiences that may be, and are, quite different than your own...that´s the magic of being individuals who are brought together because of the high standard of wanting to be the authentic people that we REALLY are (and that God meant for us to be...in my opinion)...who we really are is finally important...being front and center in our own lives and many of the lives of those around us who love us and support us is essential anything less would make us secondrate/defective and taudry...it matters, we matter and I´m quite opposed to listening to heterosexuals, bigots or religious zealots, or not, as they rummage around in OUR personal lives or boldy attempt to continue to ABUSE US verbally or in ANY way....I´ve listened quietly, or not, for a lifetime of stupidity being spewn around as people strive to demean and demoralize LGBT human beings like us...it´s not like I finally quietly decided to say NO to the ridiculous and dangerous trashing...I was FORCED to see the deadly results of silently giving approval by remaining ¨above it all¨...I often remained the quiet snob and ¨passed¨ as idiots instigated crimes of hate against people like us (both in and outside of Church) around me...nope, it´s time to grow up and STAND UP and take responsibility for our OWN actions and character (sins?)... it´s time we HELP anti LGBT bigots and thugs become accountable for the harm that they do. We can point it out to them or chat quietly if they are willing to listen. But, I won´t participate by looking the otherway as the self-righteous, or worse, as they attempt to slander and further harm us with their wild accusations regarding OUR character!

It´s time EVERYONE is responsible for their own actions...that would include heterosexuals or LGBT pals...actions have consequences and if it means that boycotting goods, services or friendships must be used to stop the enabling of personal violations, personal intrusions, discrimination or preaching that promotes crimes of hate you can count me in and I won´t look back!

The bullcr*p must stop...immediately for the sake of US, our families, our friends and for the tens of millions of people like us who are persecuted in places like Nigeria and Uganda and beyond by religious extremists, exploiters and everyday thugs.

Марко Фризия said...

The New York Times says Mormons "Tipped The Scale" on Prop 8, says they were more involved in this than on abortion and other issues:
http://tinyurl.com/6rmqcm

I don't hate Mormons but, as a gay man, I sure am suspicious of them.

MarkBrunson said...

That's the SIN of being so fearfully obsessed with doing Wrong, that one becomes paralyzed (failing to do Right).

Enough w/ the scruples already, and back to the struggle to overturn Prop H8?


I am sorry that you can't seem to understand that this is more than mere scruples to me, but a matter of ethics, and, indeed, faith.

I have not said that I had a problem with targeting companies, even companies owned by individuals, but causing an individual to lose their livelihood crosses the line for me. Maybe I am a bleeding heart, or not thoroughly committed enough, or not part of The Community enough (and yes, I am angry and affronted, right now), but I am a human first, gay . . . well, fairly well on down there. I support overturning Prop 8 because it is a bad thing for human beings in general and its proponents have produced spurious arguments, at best.

But, my nature, in which compassion is an exercise of will and not mere goodwill and good feelings as you might think, makes me consider exactly the question I asked you; would it be allright for my community, with its Baptists, Catholics and Mormons aplenty to boycott my employer, who has made no contribution to opposing our state's same-sex amendment, until I either recant my views or he's forced to fire me?

You see, I know what it is to be unemployed, to be without, as I'm sure most here do. But, I also believe that I am part of a world in which every individual counts. Yes, there is a huge difference between publicly shaming and boycotting a company and causing an individual to lose their job. I don't believe anyone lives "off of" the gay community anymore than I live "off of" the Southern Baptist Church.

I'm sorry, I wish you luck in repealing Prop 8, but I can't be a part of the sort of thing I'm seeing here - when ends justify means and we become, not just right but Right! to their Wrong! My departure from this will be little loss to anyone, but it would be a greater loss for me to stay.

I am sorry.

Anonymous said...

Mark
please don't leave. I think you can see there is a spectrum of opinion here and ALL opinions are welcome....AND NEEDED.

If we can't hear each other, how can we hear anyone else?

IT

Anonymous said...

Leonardo, I hope we can agree that we disagree as to means, at some level, while still recognizing we are fundamentally on the same side.

Thank you.

IT

Anonymous said...

The musical theater director was an IDIOT for personally donating. Hello? Musical theater? He ought to know that half of his employees either are gay or have gay friends they want to defend. And that's a conservative estimate. What did he think, that none of the gay/ally employees would notice and none of the headliner artists would notice? That boss, by letting his opinion be known in a public venue, has just created poor morale for the employees and alienated a large group of ticket purchasers. I feel sorry for him if he is clueless enough to not know that campaign finances are public record and easy to access on the intertoobs. But should such a technologically clueless man be running a consumer-oriented business? If I were on the board of directors, I would be seriously displeased with this man. He could vote any way he pleases, but he should leave donations to controversial issues to his wife.

Now, I don't know if boycotts are likely to be useful, but gay and ally consumers can spend their own money however they will. It is unfortunate that employees may lose jobs or hours if a restaurant loses 10% of its customers - just as it is unfortunate that auto company employees pay the costs for the idiotic business model the bosses have used. That fact still won't make me buy an American SUV rather than buy a Japanese 4 cylinder hatchback (now 10 years old).

NancyP

James David Walley said...

As someone who used to frequent El Coyote when I lived in L.A., I was distressed to learn that their owner had supported the H8 campaign. While I was intending to visit there the next chance I got to the Southland, forget it.

And, yes, the fact that she only gave $100 is irrelevant to my decision. I'll go further -- if a boycott of El Coyote wound up putting it out of business, all over a $100 donation, all the better; making it clear that there will be zero tolerance for discrimination will send a powerful message for the next time around.