Sunday, November 30, 2008

Remedial Review for Ridiculous Religious Rightists

As I scour through the comment threads of various news items, the true stupidity of the religious right smacks me, smack-dab in the snout.

However, your friendly blogger is a compassionate fellow and is quite able and willing to explain a few things to the pro-Prop-8 religionists who are foaming at the mouth in fury.

First of all, please stop referring to the lists of pro and anti Prop 8 supporters as "blacklists" and to boycotts as "blacklisting." A blacklist is a list developed by government specifically to punish and illegalize certain people.

A boycott is not a "blacklist" and never was. Boycotts are legitimate expressions of individuals' right to consume as they please. You seemed to understand this when you boycotted American Airlines for offering same-sex partner health benefits, when you boycotted United Airlines for doing the same thing, when you boycotted Ford Motor for advertising in gay periodicals, when you boycotted Disney for not banning LGBT families from their park, and even when you threatened Proposition 8 opponents with a boycott of your own if they didn't stop contributing to the anti-Prop-8 initiatives.

Please don't tell me that you're so stupid as to believe that now that the shoe is on the other foot, it's suddenly wrong, bad and illegal.

None of us have a right to employment, public or private. And the fact of the matter is, a number of people in rather prominent positions -- fully knowing that their large contributions are a matter of public record -- declared that they favored Prop 8.

Some of them were rather silly. Did the guy who oversees musical theater in Sacramento actually think he'd be able to avoid fallout from the gay community when they learned of his efforts to revoke their rights? It's musical theater, for criminy's sake -- without gay cash, it would cease to exist.

How about the mental midget in LA who was a part-owner of a gay-oriented Mexican cantina? How stupid is she? (The mind boggles).

Or the director of the Sundance festival -- a festival that goes out of its way to market itself to LGBT people.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot, shall we?

Imagine if a man who owns a restaurant catering to Mormons contributed a large sum of money to revoke their tax status. Or if a man who sells religious garments to the Catholic Church campaigned publicly against Catholicism.

Would they have a magical right to expect business to continue pouring in? Would they be "blacklisted" if right-wing religious groups called for boycotts or other action?

Of course not. Your actions facilitating this sort of thing over the years prove it.

Unfortunately for you, the worm has turned.

Gay people represent over $900 billion in annual spending power in the USA, pushing to $1 trillion by 2012. That's a lot of cash.

And now, thanks to the internet and instant access to public records, they can decide where and how they're going to spend that money.

Which means that if you want to continue channelling money to bigot amendments, you're going to have to find one of those shrinking number of jobs where little or no money comes from gay consumers -- or you're going to have to decide if your hate and anger is worth a loss of revenue to the competition.

That's the beauty of free markets. You have the right to express whatever point of view you'd like, but others have the right to spend their money however they see fit.

That the LGBT boycott of anti-gay businesses and individuals is more successful than the abortive boycotts you've launched over the years is less a sign of "unfair blacklisting," and more a sign of your lack of influence over modern American economic life.

And while that may upset you, it's no basis for you to claim a right to the dollars of gay people who you have insulted, belittled, hated, attacked and disenfranchised so often over the last several decades.