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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!
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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.
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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.