The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
iReporter Matt Zieminski caused quite a firestorm last week when he announced, "I'm gay and I support Chick-fil-A."
Zieminski's essay explaining his point of view on the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy, which erupted when CEO Dan Cathy made public his views against same-sex marriage, received 145,000 page views and nearly 700 comments. A follow-up piece got almost 150,000 views. What was it about this 19-year-old's proclamation that hit home for so many people?
For one thing, he disagreed with the two main camps. "I've noted that many liberals frame the issue as Chick-fil-A [supporting] anti-gay hate groups and the conservatives frame it as liberals and gays attacking an organization's right to freedom of speech merely because the company doesn't share the same beliefs," he wrote. "In a sense both parties are wrong."
Zieminski's message to both sides was simple: open your minds and pick your battles. "I fully support same-sex marriage... Yet for all my support, I do not try to force someone to believe in my lifestyle or my goals," he wrote. "The only thing that I ask for, and that I hope people realize the LGBT movement asks for, is acceptance and understanding."
The teen, who describes himself as liberal, encouraged people on both sides of the Chick-fil-A battle to remain civil and try to see the other side's point of view. He said that even though he disagrees with Cathy's stance on same-sex marriage, he's never been treated badly in a Chick-fil-A restaurant, so he'll continue to eat there unless he is.
As commenters debated Zieminski's argument, we continued to receive floods of iReports from people with a wide range of views on the Chick-fil-A controversy. From supporters of the restaurant insisting it's a freedom of speech issue to dissenters saying they have a responsibility to confront bigotry, iReporters weren't afraid to tell us what they thought. Thank you for making your voices heard!
Have opinions on other issues you'd like us to hear? Join the iReport Debate and sound off on everything that's important to you this election season.
Yep, it did get testy at times. Matt and I have a similar view on the issue.
Your view and opinion is right on! Freedom is a two way street we all often forget.
I don't agree with him for the fact that chick flick-a is supporting hate groups yet people there who were supporting the appericate day were only there cause there parents told them to. and someone side bible the law. these people don't even know why they are their in the first place. That the problem
I agree with this a lot! Now think of Chick-fil-A... it's a business. When in the Free market (remember we are the purchasers) a business can do anything law abiding that it wants. For now it is law abiding. For those that think it is a rank way to get attention (I am raising my hand now!!!!!!) remember that they will reap what they sow. After the election is over the vast majority will still remember, but the owners pockets may grow hollow. This is very similar to an individuals right to free speech, and we must remember that comparison.
usman momoh oluwaseyi
from kogi state , born in lagos state nigerian
my name are usman momoh oluwaseyi, i m faceing a problems of health charllenge and status charllenges in a way of descrimination and embaracesive way infact is destoping my living activeties in the extend that i can found any supportive and assitances anywere for my living activeties and my daly food and some other importances things to have or achives ......
every were i go ,i always been embarasive just beacuse of my rightfully health and been notices as a wrongfully healthfully partiners around the the particular enviroment or in a particular area that i have been too, infact it as cause alot of problems to me in such as been destop with food and water around the enviroment and area protectives idea , but i always try to take a good care of myself wth what i can found by maintaing beacuse i dont have anybody that can support me all beacuse of the accusetions , the family and the net bearent as disapointed me by accuse me of been a madry and mental desundent all beacuse of my good health , but there ve been noteable about my medical scaring and scan , such as medical checks up that say nigetive to unhealthly and dieases and virus ..... with all this reason i have gone through diffirent kindy of challenge from very opportiunlties i want to obetaine all beacuse of their descrimination around the enviroment and area that i have been noteable .....,and sorry no mother, on father ,their late...
please i want you to arise for my help and support and assitance to lead me throughmy needy and to be save from all the descriminations i m going true if you realy understand me bitter and if you now how tis very dangerous to human been like me to live without now facility or sureces of money and other important things to have that can make my live to be successfully on earth
i will be very greatfully if you can help me to put a light into the issue of my by informaing and make ...orders.. true the right countries or city , people and rightfully destination or parliament in a particular in a particular countries or city and state to help and support to stop descrimenation or abuse of health charllenges or status chaellenges beacuse their alway been comlaine about my daly activeties , such as food and water an enviroment all beacuse i can avide a rightfully starnded beacuse i don,t have a sureces of income , such money and good facility
in this case i want you to help me by provideing and support that you can render just for me to have good living and protection and save from what i m going through , pleas i need your support through this details and informations by makeing a fixed deposet to this address in case you want to help in time of help or support with money or any thing you can rander as a help for me,
please contact this address here in nigerian lagos state to now maybe they can help to deliver whatever you have to support according to the fixed deposet transfer to this address ......adc airline plc, 80 opebi road ,ikeja lagos
tell.. 01 4965750 ,01 2222073 ,or email firstname.lastname@example.org
aero contractors nigeria limited , local wing
murtala mhammed airport, ikeja
tel 01 7749273 0802 342 2883
or email operations,email@example.com
2 floor nahco building , murtala muhammed international airport lkeja, lagos
tel .... 01 4933861 01 2882860
i will be expecting your reaply or view back to my email address for the pick up of what you have send as fixed deposet to the rightfully address
here is may email address for you respond or view backs , firstname.lastname@example.org
or to my messanger id, young_lobe
thanks you so much as you support and help me
who cares if you are gay or not? Chick-fil-a has a right to do what it wants and the people who protests against it have their own right to reject it and protest against hypocricy(as they see).
You had right to say what you wanted to say and i have right to write i wanted to.
Doesnt make you,me or chick-fil-a any saintlier.
We are all wasting our time.
"I do not try to force someone to believe in my lifestyle or my goals," Matt Zieminski wrote.
The issue was that Chick-fil-A was giving funds to groups that trying to force someone to believe in THEIR lifestyle and/or THEIR goals; which is NO GAY MARRIAGE.
Look what the "Christian" Right has turned you into, a blathering, self deprecating idiot!
This company also has stores in states that allow them to discriminate against gay folks because they are Gay Americans. In these states gays can be fired. Gays can be denied benefits.
This is NOT a freedom of speech issue. It is an imaginary issue created by the "Christian" Right to make themselves feel better because they are being called out as being hateful hypocrites. It is a human rights issue.
People are being treated unfairly because of who they are. In the US's current climate of hatred and bigotry (from the right) This is a place where "Christians" should/could be an example....they have chosen to make a line in the sand and they are not standing on anyone's words but their own.
My advice to you Matt is to mature a bit then come back and write your piece.
My brother owns a privately owned car dealership. if he gave money to a anti-jewish hate group. how many cars do you think would be purchased by jewish community?
FACT: it's ok for my brother to spend his hard earned money anyway he chooses; however, it's also ok for jewish community to not purchase cars there.
REALITY: so although i agree chic-fil-a has the right to give their money to whoever they want to; i feel it is very ignorant for any gay person to spend money that will support hate groups that fight against them. why doesn't this gay person just give his money directly to the hate groups?
Zieminski, like many on both sides of this issue, miss the point. The point isn't that Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, or Grover Cleveland have a constitutional right to harbor beliefs which differ from mine (I'm a heterosexual who passionately supports gay marriage), or to speak publicly in support of their views. Of course they do.
The point, of course, is that Dan Cathy and his company have contributed millions of dollars towards groups that operate with the specific intent of obstructing and/or dismantling the marriages of people I love dearly (including a sibling), and those like them. Cathy and his company pour funds into groups which work tirelessly to maintain the status quo in US states, and in countries abroad, where laws which are openly hostile to homosexuals are still enforced.
My right to free speech, like Cathy's, guarantees my right to object, to express disgust, and to argue - loudly as I like - that the actions he's taken are hurtful, immoral, and wrong.
Zieminski, with all due respect to him, simply doesn't know what he's doing. He's in over his head. And someday, when he's able to live, openly, as a homosexual anywhere in this country he pleases - or marry, and have that union recognized in any state - he'll have others to thank, and not himself.
Frankly, I think many people are flying off the handle on this subject. With what I've seen so far, the pro-gay side seems to be suffering from knee jerk reactions.
I'd personally like to know more about these groups that Chikfila contributes to. What bothers me is that these groups are being called "hate" groups. It does very much seem that the opinion of the gay community is you're either "on my side" or you "hate me". There's no grey area, no room for disagreement. It's either accept me fully or you hate me.
From what I can see, Chikfila is not accused of discriminating against gays, either as customers or employees. One of the owners merely confirmed in an interview his views on the definition of marriage. Many people probably share those views but it does mean that they "hate" anyone.
Again, I'd like some clarification on which groups exactly it is that Chikfila contributes to and what are the goals of those groups?
It's sad to see how successfully antiChristian bigots have brainwashed the whole gullible ignorant world into believing an oxymoron lie: homo=same+sex=opposite, exposed by "The gay invention" at www.touchstonemag.com. "Gay marriage" is a lie and a fraud only fascist perverts and their fools fail to oppose because what they really want is to destroy true marriage by replacing it with perversion, preceded by those who long ago began attacking it with the perversions of easy divorce and free sex, for as long as true marriage was strong the counterfeit couldn't get a foothold; no longer. Men are by nature turned on: they'll do it with anything with a hole, human or not, but perverts try to cover that up with the lie about being "born gay" that censors those who've left that deathstyle for real marriages and families (like those at exodus.to ) even whose kids' lives sick "gay activists" threaten, because they're too cowardly and incompetent to deal with those able to refute their lawless, fascist degenerate lies of a dying civilization in its death throes, seen in the US nominating two deranged lawless fascists for President who both reject the one true God, Jesus Christ for their cults' (Mormon & Muslim) lawless, fascist delusions, both committed to the secret destruction of America for their religion. See www.renewAmerica.com. Shrinks once knew sodomy was a sickness until they were terrorized into changing their position, not on the basis of reason or research, like Nazi Germany, as described in The Pink Swastika that only deranged liars try to refute, in vain. As the Nazis & Soviets and now America's Democrats did, it's so easy to fool the gullible world into buying any lie you want it to buy.
A friend of mine on facebook posted a picture of a chik fila sign saying 'gays are unwlcome'.....
I said I'm all for gay rights but Id still eat there even if I was gay its good food and if its close by why not all I eat is chicken based food. Id take them over bk or micky d's annny day...
Some girl said that basically
'' by its convenience, I'm supporting murder, and I vote with my dollars.''
To which I replied. And I know some might take this wrong but....
'' You need money to live (dont try to convince yourself otherwise even if you dont someone youre with is helping you financially then in some way, hence using money). you use it and probbbably dont share it with the people who are in need of it. You buy what YOU need in order to survive. you buy what is convenient for YOUR needs and YOUR life. I am doing the same thing, buying myself and child food to survive. I dont NEED to support ANYTHING but my CHILD its not mandatory i support just gays and nothing else in life. Im all for gay rights, and i CHOOSE to support it but also choose to support my decisions as a human to be able to eat where i like. Just because Some company is against something that isnt in your favor means its wrong of me to feed my child good food or cheap or let alone, convenient food when were out? I dont think so. Now i myself know i am not at all against gays. I dont support murder. Chikfila donates money to all different charities. So ALTHOUGH they might not support gays doesnt mean im not helping support OTHER charities. Its like religion, NOT everyone is going to be the same religion as you ...Almost all churches will welcome someone of another religion. Example, catholics were said to be against gays. Im catholic, and yet not against gays, (also notice, half of the priests are gay), yet i dont stop anyone and say, youre not catholic so youre not welcome here. I will gladly pray and eat with anyone of any religion, race or sexuality. I CHOOSE to do that. Even they they might not support gays doesnt mean you cant help support other charities and show them youre not afraid to be who you are and help who needs help...whether they approve of you and your life styles or not. If they cant accept that then forget them, dont go there but just because someone else goes there doesnt mean they too are against you or your ways. Not every straight human is thinking 'hey let me go eat at chickfila or shop at walmart because theyre against gays.' In the end, who you are and what you stand for will have made a difference to someone in life, and thats all that matters. Worry about that. Stop fighting the wrong people. Those who you love, wont care who says you shouldnt or cant be together or be who you are, love will overcome any of those problems, fighting a company thats set in its ways is a useless fight. just worry about the people you love not the people who are trying to tear you apart. Its YOUR choice and the only people who matter are the ones you know saying ''in the end, you are who you are.. and you are what made the difference in their life.'' Not some food chain. But for now i will live MY life supporting my daughter and helping people how i can. And i know chickfila donates to charities or mcdonalds so i buy from those places when i do have the money.''
Now I know its kinda f*ked I agree but, just because your gay rights isn't being supported by EVERYONE in the world or us even, doesn't mean myself as a straight person is supported. Just because I'm straight doesn't mean others support MY way of life, or MY lifestyle. Gay is a way of life, straight is a way of life, bi is a way of life, LOVE and hate is a way of life. No matter what you will have those on your side and those against you. And when you learn to accept that fact is when I FEEL you can truely accept yourself. If youre always fighting others to be who you are or want to be then you'll spend your life TRYing to be who you want to be instead of LIVING and just BEING who you are and loving the time with those who matter rather then spending and wasting your precious time fighting those who don't and won't matter when your life is over. Spend your time loving those who matter and forget the rest... not fight the rest. Choose to be happy without the acceptance of people who don't matter. Gay or NOT you can only learn to love yourself when YOU accept who YOU are. You might not CHOOSE to be gay but your sure as hell can CHOOSE to be happy. Its your life, Not theirs... when their time comes, you will have lived happily while they wasted their time being hateful and discriminating, and all that god is really against. So who are they to judge you. Now seriously, go be happy f*k everyone else.