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    Posted August 2, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Chick-fil-A demonstrations

    More from CVNeutron

    I'm Gay and I support Chick-Fil-A (Part 2)


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     CVNeutron says after submitting a previous iReport on his stance as a gay man supporting Chick-fil-A, he was inspired to expand on his views. 'There was a broader message I wanted to get across to supporters of equality and the LGBT movement that I feel was lost in the politics surrounding a gay man supporting an anti-gay company,' he says.

    He considers Chick-fil-A a respectable business that sells a good product, and although the company might have a tough stance on the marriage, he feels that there is more to fighting for the rights of the LGBT community than what the definition of marriage is. 'I think that marriage is nothing more than a term, it symbolizes something greater and that's what we should be striving for as a community. For me it's about equality,' he says.

    But there for many who disagreed with his opinions. 'Call it whatever you want just give me the same rights and responsibilities that a straight couple can have when they join together for life,' he says. He thinks Chick-fil-A and its CEO have the right to their stance due to their religious convictions. In addition, he says the company has right to free speech, and ultimately he believes that overall the company will support equality.

    He also adds that he has been called "anti-gay" for his stance on supporting Chick-fil-A as a gay man. 'It bothered me at first, but then after I thought about it I realized it's more that they think I'm putting myself down rather than rising myself above the issue,' he says. 'I'm not going to lower myself to an anti-gay organization's level by raising hell over a simple term. Ideally of course I want my "marriage" to my significant other to be termed marriage, but I know that it's just a term and easily discarded. I think in America we give little words too high a value,' he says.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    In the Civil Rights era when a very strong push was being made to give African Americans the same rights as white society there were a great deal of protests. The ones America recalls today are what we consider to be the most significant yet we fail to recognize just how bad things got before they ultimately got better. At many times there were innocent white men and women as well as black men and women being beaten down for just standing. These civilians were not accomplices to any crime other than watching what was taking place and being on one side or the other. For some who look back on that movement today it's met with tears of happiness but also a feeling of disgust. What those protests broke down to tainted the purity of the movement. There were various niches of it that gave an overall bad vibe. I bring to mind the Black Panther Party and the Ku Klux Klan. Some may ask why I bring this up. It happened over 20 years ago why and how does it matter? My previous iReport entitled “I'm Gay and I support Chick-Fil-A” drew a lot of comments and views and even more emotions. The essence of my message is this: I don't want to see the movement that I am a part of become beaten into the dirt and labeled nothing more than a bunch of low lifes of society.

    For proof this can happen simply refer to the Occupy Wall-Street movement. At it's beginning I think the Occupy movement was just a group of people who were outraged that Wall-Street hadn't faced any punishment for it's crimes and contribution to the recession of 2008. After months of peaceful protesting it finally attracted the attention of the media. With the attention of the media came the attention of the anti-Occupy people and thus the infiltration of their organization by a relative few. Within weeks of that happening Occupy was turned from a noble movement simply attempting to hold those responsible accountable into a rag tag assembly of perceived hippies, druggies, and anarchists. That wasn't and isn't what the Occupy movement is about. In that same turn it needs to be made clear to the bystanders who look on the LGBT movement that this movement for equality isn't about forcing beliefs upon anyone. I fully support same-sex marriage and I will do everything I am asked to do to further that mission. Yet for all my support I do not try to force someone to believe in my lifestyle or my goals. The only thing that I ask for, and that I hope people realize the LGBT movement asks for is acceptance and understanding. We always fear what we don't understand and it is my strong belief that what is responsible for much of the rhetoric surrounding the movement for equality is fear.

    Let me be clear I am not a self-hating Gay. I am not anti-Gay. I am not a Chick-Fil-A imposter. I am not a Republican in disguise. I am me. Nearly 20 years old, actively interested in politics and issues surrounding this nation and pursuing a career of journalism. I'm an ardent Obama supporter. I am gay and I am dating someone. But none of this should matter to you. What should matter is that I am a young man interested in the goings on of our society and am one of the ever dwindling numbers that can look at things with an open mind.

    We need to stop the hate that surrounds..........well everything today. For my support of President Obama I’ve been called a “fascist communist socialistic pig who doesn't love America.” For my liberal views I've been essentially ex-communicated by my blood grandfather. For my being gay my grandmother doesn't talk to me much more than she absolutely must. Do I look at any of these people with hate? No. I try to understand what they might be thinking. Where they are coming from. It's my feeling that America is growing more detached from each other and less supportive of it's core values. This nation was founded as “We the people” and on principles of the right to Life Liberty and Property. We must get back to understanding what that means and how it can apply to our daily life.

    Whether you read this as a Liberal or a Conservative, LGBT or straight, Christian or atheist or any other religious belief, I want you to take from this this very simple message: We are all Americans and we all care about the same things. We all want equality, we just don't yet know the right way to achieve it. I am gay and I can tell you without a doubt I fully support those like me as well as those completely different from me because that's what makes our country better than most. We can disagree online and in person and on air as much as we want and at the end of the day nobody is hung for what they said and we all still can be united as people. This country faces serious issues and it's time that we get serious answers. I don't give a damn what Chick-Fil-A or The Home Depot or Gap or any other corporation thinks about gays. I care what my leaders think about equality. It's time to stop dancing around the issue and ask our leaders to give us real cohesive answers to this question: When? When will we have true equality in this country?
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