August 2, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin. If You Want.

By Brady Bonk

I have seen many ejaculations of opinion on the internets of late that go something like this regarding the weirdly current offender in our culture known as “Chick-Fil-A”: “And besides, you know what else, too? THEIR FOOD SUCKS.”

No. It doesn’t.

No, that particular fast food chain makes one mean chicken sammich, crispy, juicy, piping hot out of the little foil bag, and every one has that little pickle in the center. And do not get me started on the waffle fries. No, sir, that argument regarding our latest icon in a hot seat does not fly.

Now I think it’s important in considering in all of this odd debate exactly what was said and done and what’s actually of concern here. About a month ago, The Biblical Recorder, a weekly newspaper published by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, interviewed Dan T. Cathy, President and COO, and asked about opposition to his company’s “support of the traditional family.” He replied: “Well, guilty as charged.”

“We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that. … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that. We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Mainly, what Cathy is defending is Chick-Fil-A’s financial support of outfits like Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council, and also that his company had sponsored marriage retreats that excluded gay couples. And I’m not about to defend any of all of that. But I think there are some things that it’s important to understand about this issue.

First, understand that Chick-Fil-A is a widely Southern phenomenon, and that the chain is widely beloved among Southerners. Among the things believed by South-dwellers about Chick-Fil-A is that it makes the most delicious sweet tea in all the land. And if you don’t understand the significance of that, then you have clearly never spent any time in the former confederacy. If you have, then you know I have amply supported the significance of Chick-Fil-A to Southern culinary life and let’s move on. Suffice it to say: It’s a Southern thing.

Also understand this about Chick-Fil-A: If you manage to get hold of a franchise, you must understand that you yourself do not own the restaurant, is is the case with many other chain operations. Chick-Fil-A retains ownership of the restaurant itself and pays all the bills. You just kicked in that $5K for the licensing, that’s all. Nope, no pyramid scheme here. Everyone answers to Mr. Cathy.

And understand, too, that all this Jesus stuff isn’t just what this guy thinks off the top of his head. It’s in Chick-Fil-A’s corporate charter. Here, from the Wiki:

The company’s official statement of corporate purpose says that the business exists “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

So. You’ve got a corporation, which in these Untied States of America is now officially recognized as a person, and so that person is a redneck, revered by other rednecks, who has staggering control issues and runs around town waving a Bible, and you really think the problem is whether or not you stop your little hiney into the food court for a bite to eat?

This Dan Cathy has been allowed to inject opinions and mores into his little corporation being, and I think that’s the real problem; not some smirky quote he gave to a softball interviewer in the Jesus press trade, not even his corporation’s support for those hideous groups.

The problem is that the system abides it. I say, so long as that continues, you might as well just park yourself down and enjoy your waffle fries.

They are really scrumptious.

Filed Under: Marriage Equality
February 7, 2012

Here Come De Judges

By Brady Bonk

I’ve been saying for quite a while now that the issue of marriage equality would one day have to be put before the Supreme Court.

Here we go.

Filed Under: Marriage Equality
January 5, 2012

A Fierce Advocate

By Brady Bonk

I adore it when a coincidental current events news story allows me to claim some sort of prescience.

In fact, it’s probably just coincidence that just a few nights ago, this blogger was on fire about marriage equality and wrote one of my very favorite pieces of the year, and that I wrote this:

I have an announcement to make to those who oppose marriage equality in these Untied States of America: You are losing.

Six states now sanction marriage equality: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. and Oregon’s Coquille and Washington state’s Suquamish Indian tribes. State by state and region by region, this issue is turning the right way.

And that now, a week after that post, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has dramatically announced her support for gay marriage marriage equality legislation.

Governor. Are you reading us?

You can read the full text of the Governor’s comments here.

Or you can just watch it.

One striking thing about her comments: Not once does she talk about “gay marriage.” She instead discusses “marriage equality.” It is stunning to know that there is a state executive who is aware of the semantic difference and its importance.

It also seems that this governor has taken a page from the book of one Andrew M. Cuomo, who became a bull on this issue in New York and who one could argue as a result that he was largely responsible for the approval of marriage equality in this state. It seems a good model I reckon, especially if you happen to be in a state where the residents don’t seem to mind the idea much anyway. The Pacific Northwest state should have little trouble passing the measure.

But even in a blue blue state like Washington, the bullish leadership of the chief executive can certainly be helpful. Bravo to Gov. Chris Gregoire for coming out—oh my, did I say that?—as a fierce advocate.

Filed Under: Marriage Equality
December 23, 2011

You Are Losing This Fight

By Brady Bonk

I have an announcement to make to those who oppose marriage equality in these Untied States of America: You are losing.

Six states now sanction marriage equality: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C. and Oregon’s Coquille and Washington state’s Suquamish Indian tribes. State by state and region by region, this issue is turning the right way. We’ll make it to Alabama and Georgia eventually. Then we’ll burn DOMA on the stairs of the Supreme Court. You bet we will.

Americans, you see, are less squeamish about this than they used to be. Least, that is what the polls say:

Public acceptance of same-sex marriage has grown at an accelerating pace, with approval jumping by nine percentage points in the past two years and the nation now evenly divided on the issue, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.

The poll, conducted in late September and early October, showed 46% of Americans surveyed support legalizing same-sex marriage and 44% are opposed. The survey among 2,410 adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

You are losing this fight. I can’t say we have you on abortion rights (nope, sadly, you are kicking our asses on that one) or on the wisdom and necessity of a strong, vital, publicly funded national infrastructure, or even on campaign finance. Nope, you assholes have us on the run on all of those issues.

But you are losing on marriage equality and you sure as hell are going to lose.

You are losing because your position is untenable and cruel and inhumane and hypocritical. You are losing because the ultimate extreme conclusion of your position is for a gestapo to patrol house to house to confiscate all of your turkey basters and to make sure all of the sperm donors are registered and are carrying their papers. You are losing because the core of your argument, that “marriage is between a man and a woman” is so often held up to the light these days, and when it is, it is shown for the bunk that it is.

Like the video that now actually exists of a presidential front-runner telling a Vietnam veteran to his face that “marriage is between a man and a woman,” and, therefore, the veteran doesn’t deserve to enjoy the protection of marital law that everyone else enjoys.

Or, like this: A Minnesota state senator, who had coauthored a bill (S.F. No. 1975) to amend the Minnesota Constitution declaring “A marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in Minnesota,” was caught bumping uglies with a staffer and resigned, thus, interestingly, making her the shortest-tenured majority leader in Minnesota Senate history.

And so then these snarky homosexuals just had to pipe up. They issued an open letter to Amy Koch, apologizing for being queer and for, therefore, ruining her marriage.

We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an “illicit affair” with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.

We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.

It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of “adultery.”

I like to read this letter aloud in my best Homer Simpson sarcasm voice.

You cannot go on and on about the “sanctity of marriage” and sponsor legislation regarding it and then go rub your big fat ass on some boy and then expect to win this fight. I’m sorry, but each and every time the opponents of marriage equality bubble up to the top, they’re the ones who end up under the glass table.

And, thanks to them, they’ll lose this one. Mark my words, 50 years from now, the only one making a fuss about men marrying men and women marrying women will be this guy.

Daniel Carver

As it should be. As it will be. You’re losing this fight.

Filed Under: Marriage Equality
December 13, 2011

So Mitt Romney Walks Into a Diner

By Brady Bonk

Presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney was probably pleased as heck to see Bob Garon sitting there when he walked into that little diner in New Hampshire. See, Romney didn’t go to Vietnam, instead he went to France, so the way it works is that when you’re a Republigoat candidate who didn’t go to war yourself but you are campaigning for the right to lead the Untied States’ armies into unnecessary and foolish military incursions, you want to have your picture made while you are standing or sitting next to actual veterans, because that courage rubs right off on you. This from a party that worked real hard to smear and discredit and poop all over an actual war hero, one John F. Kerry, whom I’m not even sure has ever been to France.

So as it turns out, Bob Garon was there enjoying breakfast with his husband. Awkward.

Here’s what happened when Garon started to challenge Romney, who eventually has to say to this veteran’s face, “I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” a rather hilarious statement from a man who was descended from a polygamist.

This has been one lovely unintended consequence of the Republigoat nominating process: The issue of marriage equality has been placed squarely on the front burner, and every time it is, those who oppose it end up looking utterly stupid. Ricky Perry has already stepped in it, and now here has Willard Romney, and I can’t leave out my dear darling Michele Bachmann Overdrive, whom some at the Stephanie Miller Show have AWESOMELY dubbed “The Girl With The Faraway Eyes.”

Ms. Bachmann was at what looks like a completely empty book signing, when this mama pushed her kid up to her to say something to her that wasn’t coached or cajoled from the little one at all, nope, but still, the moment is precious to see the look of horror on the candidate’s face. His clearly not -pre-prepared message was, Ms. Bachmann, my mom is gay but she doesn’t need fixing. No, he wasn’t put up to this, not at all.

Regardless that he’s got a stage mom, the fact remains that this issue is ABOUT Elijah. It’s what drives me crazy about it. These assholes talk as if they’re discussing some abstract notion. There’s nothing abstract about it. Elijah is a real kid who lives in a society that casts aspersions and doubts upon his family just because his mama’s sexual preference is not the same as it is for most of us. Kids like him, those are the folks who are hurt in this whole debate. So go ahead and tell me that those mamas just shouldn’t get to raise a family, and I’ll dare you to enforce that policy and then convince me you’re not rooting for fascism.

If you’re against marriage equality, you’re against Elijah. It’s that simple.

P.S. Are they aware of the jokes that this child will be subject to? “Way to show up for dinner, Elijah!” Eh?

P.S.Again. If you’re even remotely serious about being Preznit, should you be on a book tour? Really?

Filed Under: Marriage Equality