As the Chick-fil-A controversy continues to unfold I have sat back and been pretty quiet about the issue but I feel compelled to share my view at this time.
As a firm believer in free speech, I believe Dan Cathy had every right to make his statement regarding his support of “traditional marriage”. However I would also exercise my rights by not supporting an organization or business that has given millions of dollars to organizations that judge my sexuality and treat me like a second-class citizen.
Who is to say what traditional marriage is? Marriage is a union between two individuals expressing their love, honor, and respect for one another. We do not have to look back to far in our history when interracial couples were considered contentious much like same sex couples are viewed today. As time progressed it took a Supreme Court case to change the idea of this acceptable practice.
Over the past several days through social and print media, radio, and television, I believe the grand standing on both sides of this issue is getting out of hand and does nothing from my prospective to move the issue.
As a gay partnered individual, I believe my partner and I have set an example that displays the lives of two people either homosexual or heterosexual working together through better or worse and choosing to improve each other’s lives and contribute productively to society and the community we live in.
As a former elected official, I was very disappointed to learn other elected leaders saying that they would not allow Chick-fil-A to open stores in their cities. Ultimately this stance would hurt communities as a whole because those additional tax revenue dollars support education, help maintain parks or lower tax rates.
On a personal note I would have a tough time casting a vote in favor of the business based on my personal view but I would not look at my colleagues any different if the decision was made to bring the business into the city.
Viewing some of the social media posts regarding this issue has really been disappointing and shows me the ignorance and bigotry that exist.
I hope that after the fire surrounding this issue calms that Americans can again have a true dialogue on the topic of same sex marriage. At the end of the day it is about being treated as a human being in all aspect of the word.
No one is telling anyone to perform same sex marriages if they disagree yet the LGBT community is asking that we have the same opportunities and privileges afforded with marriage. For instance, being partnered for over a decade I would like to go visit my partner and make medical decisions if he’s medically disabled and I believe we’ve both earned that right and responsibility.
Additionally, I believe that we have built our lives and future together that we should be able to decide what happens to it should God forbid something happens to one of us.
That is what this fight is about rather than buying a chicken sandwich.
- Submitted by Lawrence Webb, former council member for the City of Falls Church