A Message to the Haters: Gay Boycotts & Protests Are Not ‘Intolerant’

It’s not just gays who read Queerty. We’ve been noticing that many many Prop. 8 supporters have been commenting on the site this week about how horrible and viscious it is that gay people are protesting and boycotting them. We’re not alone, The Mercury News notes that you’re calling this week’s actions “mob justice” and “McCarthyism”. First off, thanks for your comments– it shows you’re willing to engage in a discussion, even if sometimes “discussion” seems more like “angry rant”.

Anyway, this post is for you.

Here’s why your “Gays are the intolerant ones!” rant is totally misguided and wrong. Rod Dreher, a conservative columnist over at Belief Net, does a pretty good job of condensing all the Yes on 8 talking points, so let’s take a look at what he says:

What if traditional Christians, Jews and Muslims got the list of Californians who donated to the anti-Prop 8 campaign, and began to boycott businesses where they worked on the grounds that these people gave money to a cause that would take away a substantial part of their freedom of religion?

Would that be okay? If not, why not?

First off, gay marriage doesn’t infringe on your “freedom of religion” at all. You’re welcome to define marriage any way you like at the altar. If your church says marriage should only be between two blond-haired, blue-eyed virgins, we’re totally cool with that. What we have a problem with is when you try enforcing your religious beliefs on everyone’s legal rights. Not too long ago, God was telling you that marriage between races was wrong and for long before that, marriage was something one-half of the party had no say in and was essentially a property transaction. So, when you talk about preserving “traditional marriage”, you come off as really, really annoying.

My question remains: if the gay boycott of businesses that employ or are run by people who gave money to Prop 8 to take away the right of gays to marry is okay, why is it not okay for pro-Prop 8 people to similarly threaten or ruin the livelihoods of anti-Prop 8 donors?

Threaten to ruin our livelihoods? Religious bigots have been doing that for ages. If you didn’t know, gay people get beaten and murdered at an alarming rate in this country simply because of who they are. Gays and lesbians can still lose their jobs simply for being gay in many states. You’ll have to forgive us if we don’t think that refusing to patronize your homophobic place of business is one of the world’s great injustices. We’re too familiar with the real thing to be duped.

Oh, and by the way, when the gay rights protesters move from the Mormon churches down to black or Latino churches or institutions, let me know. They’re going after the Mormons because the Mormons white and middle class, therefore safe to attack.

Actually, the focus on the Mormon church is based on its long-planned, well organized effort to destroy marriage equality. Other churches and institutions also helped pass Prop. 8 and they also are the target of protests. The protest is not against all Mormons, but the Church of LDS and supporters of the Proposition.  Drop the “burden of the white man” act. Nobody’s buying it.

By protesting, we are making ourselves and our cause visible. By boycotting, we are holding our neighbors to an equal standard. I personally understand that for many Prop. 8 supporters, their beliefs are the most important thing in the world to them, that the idea of living without those beliefs would be too much to bear. Well, that’s how we feel about our equal rights. We are not asking you to abandon your faith, just stop making the rest of the country bow before your altar. What of the faiths which bless same-sex unions? Are you not denying them their freedom? Freedom from religion means freedom for all religions (even the absence of it), not just freedom for your religion.

Keep your beliefs, but leave our rights alone.