If you’re not in the know, New Hampshire is about to have its first gay pride festival in almost two decades. There is apparently some kind of sordid history involving bitter egos, factions, IP, and the state as the reasons why such a basic thing has not been seen for this long. I’ve heard conflicting stories, but we finally got it up again. For the “Live Free or Die” state, that allows gay marriage, not having a festival is rather unacceptable.
Of course, maybe in New Hampshire, things are just somewhat differently hear. I mean, we have libertarian anarchist members in Occupy NH, and there’s just no getting around that. So, as I enjoy using my “only in new hampshire” tag, unlike any other pride, Chick-Fil-A will have a booth at the festival, giving out free chicken. Truly, in my opinion, this is a lovely olive branch, a step forward in the right direction. What most people do not seem to understand is the level of autonomy that a franchise owner has, and that in the end, we are all individuals. Here’s this guy, Anthony Piccola, owner of the only Chick-Fil-A restaurant in New Hampshire, bucking the national trend and corporate beliefs, giving out free food at a pride event, and saying “I’m on your side!” This is entirely consistent with boycotting the restaurant chain. It emphasizes that we are individuals, and you cannot simply collectivize and group people together as one evil conglomerate.
Yes, 50% of franchise profits must go to Chick-Fil-A, Inc. Yes, they fund the public policy group Family Research Council, but the FRC is on the losing side of history. Increasingly, same-sex marriage is supported, and I can’t find any legislative successes that FRC has had. It’s wasted money, because really, whatever vile lobbying attempts made by them, honestly, in this day in age, will go nowhere. And, for the record, FRC does not support the Ugandan death penalty for homosexuals. That story was exaggerated. They wanted to only change the language and remove any mention that homosexuality is an internationally recognized human right. So what we are left with here is an older generation, behind the tide of time, lost in the undertow, writing and spreading hateful, despicable, ugly, ugly words — something in of itself, I will always defend.
But wait, then there’s Anthony Piccola. He told the Nashua Telegraph that he wants people to talk to him about this whole ridiculous thing
Chick-fil-A at Pheasant Lane Mall has gay employees and serves gay customers with honor, dignity and respect. We also don’t discriminate in giving back to the Nashua community, donating to a wide variety of causes. I would challenge people to come have a conversation with me before they make assumptions or boycott my restaurant.
And that’s what it’s about! Accept the olive branch! Engage with the man! Ask him what LGBTQ-friendly causes he supports and which ones his franchise funds. It’s just free chicken, for god’s sakes! At worst, money has been taken away as profits to Chick-Fil-A, and you still don’t have to go to the restaurants. You can still boycott, and rightly so! Boycott the shit out of Chick-Fil-A. The market responds. It’s just that simple. But keep it civil; keep it honest; be the better person; communicate.
Good luck New Hampshire Pride. Good luck.
Notes: Firstly, the above postcard was designed by me.
And secondly, let’s be fair, wealthy gay individuals have also spent ridiculous amounts of money on awful causes, like you know, the Obama reelection campaign, because of a promise he cannot fulfill, and are promoting a man whom killed 15 people in the Phillipines, is killing who knows how many civilians in hundreds of drone strikes, continues to expand the wars, is bombing Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria; and the war drumming against Iran is making my brain explode. But where is the public outrage? As Glenn Greenwald says
… (it’s amazingly common how Democrats defend Obama’s foreign policy record by tauntingly pointing to the pile of corpses he’s produced and the punishing sanctions he’s imposed, and by fully embracing the long-standing GOP metrics of “toughness” and arguing that Obama exudes them even more than the GOP itself). Thus: maybe a President has to take that old, antiquated, pre-9/11 oath to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ but that doesn’t mean you actually have to believe it.
How can such actions be defendable? Why aren’t these individuals being boycotted? Why isn’t the LGBTQ community standing against Obama, for the deaths of innocent lives, for all the hate he has spread, across this world, with his army of drones? Surely, just on priorities alone, it is more important that we end the wars than dealing with Chick-Fil-A’s unsuccessful, lobbyist spending habits. How about we just get money out of politics altogether, and let people have their personal beliefs, and live and let live? The state shouldn’t be involved in marriage at all, anyway. The state only divides us. And it does it so well. And we let it happen. Maybe it’s time we withdraw consent?
Correction: Apparently, it’s only been nine years since the last pride fest. Who knows. There’s a lot of “he said, she said” in these here woods.