You think shuffling some words around changes anything?

I’m continually baffled by all the people who try to defend Chick-fil-A’s financial support of anti-gay causes by designating them as instead being “pro-family”. Oh no, they’re not opposing gay rights – they’re just “protecting families”. What exactly made them think this would be the slightest bit persuasive? Just because you’ve personally decided to label the actions of groups such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, Exodus International and the Eagle Forum as being “pro-family”, that doesn’t change the fact of their anti-gay activities.

Have they become any less dedicated to ensuring the continued social stigma and legal inequality of LGBT people, our relationships and our families now that you’ve called them “pro-family”? Does that mean they’re now just fine with us getting married, or being protected by nondiscrimination laws, or adopting children? Hell no. We still have to face the reality that they’re working every day to keep us from being accepted in society. I don’t care how “pro-family” they are. However you describe their intent, it has no bearing on the results.

And if you really thought we’d be okay with being told that your families need to be “protected” by making our families less than equal, just how disconnected from humanity are you? Did you expect we’d be happy to be thrown under the bus for the sake of some wholly unsupported notion that this would make your family stronger? That’s a disgustingly vampiric idea that has no basis in reality. You don’t need to be protected from us. We need to be protected from you.

So I really don’t give a damn about the comforting lies you have to tell yourself to excuse your support of a business that’s actively making our lives harder. If you need to hide the reality of it from yourself, that tells me you already know it’s wrong.

You think shuffling some words around changes anything?
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37 thoughts on “You think shuffling some words around changes anything?

  1. 2


    The sort of mental gymnastics that they have to go through to avoid the obviously sociopathic/psychotic ramifications of their beliefs kind of makes it worse for me. Like you said, they know that they are supporting something intolerably evil, and they work really hard to keep the support instead of rejecting it and moving on. It isn’t even like anyone is saying that they have to stop being Christian (although that’s what I would prefer), but they could easily take a huge step in the right direction by joining a liberal denomination.

  2. 3

    It’s a sign of the turning tide that pro gay marriage activists take up slogans like “marriage equality” or “marriage for all”, i.e., slogans that can only be interpreted as pro gay marriage, while the anti- side takes up intentionally vague slogans like “pro family” or “protecting marriage”, i.e., slogans that could be interpreted in pro gay marriage by someone who isn’t familiar with the dogwhistles. This is not merely using positive-sounding words, they are intentionally removing clarity.
    They actually seem embarrassed to label their position accurately for fear of sounding bigoted.

  3. 4

    Pro-family is the new pro-life: bullshit rhetoric used to put an absurdly positive spin on your own stance while at the same time calling into disrepute the views of the other side. Pro-choice does not mean anti-life. Pro-lifers, however, are by definiton anti-choice. Likewise, there is nothing anti-family about being pro-gay. But to congregate outside Chick Fil-A and call yourself pro-family is certainly anti-gay.

  4. 5

    Yeah. Don’t fucking say you’re pro-family unless you’re pro-all-families not just pro-your kind of-families.

    So, what, are the attempts to (re-)institute anti-sodomy laws now going to be called “pro-sex” or some such bullshit?

  5. 6

    They aren’t protecting *my* family. I really wish that anti-LGBT bigots would stop this so-called protecting of my kids in their own names and the name of the beliefs my family does not hold.

    1. 6.1

      If it’s all about “Protecting the families”, then they wouldn’t be worrying about gays, they’d be screaming and ranting against the OVER 50% divorce rate among heterosexuals. They’d be protesting against serial marriages, easy divorce, etc.

      But they’re concerned about gays. Which proves once and for all that it has nothing to do with the sanctity of marriage, and everything to do with the fact that homosexuality squicks THEM out, and they’re scared they might be gay as well.

  6. 7

    But…but…but…it’s all about protecting families…and…and…and family protection and…and…families and protection and…and…stuff like that which you family destroyers don’t want to understand. Don’t you realize that if gays get married then families won’t be protected? If you cared about civilization then you’d care about family protection and protecting families and you wouldn’t want gay marriage.

    Did I mention protecting families?

  7. 8

    Bigots see life as a zero-sum game. For them to have rights they have to make sure others don’t. For their marriages to have “sanctity” they have to prevent others from marrying. Their families count, yours don’t. And always, always, they’re the ones under attack because though they’re the righteous majority,they’re also the innocent victims of evil degenerates who want what is rightfully theirs.

    1. 8.1

      My childhood was extremely confusing because I grew up in fundie culture, yet instinctively have always understood that rights aren’t zero-sum. I didn’t understand why ideas like “equal rights” and “sharing” were so hard for other people to understand.

      Hel, I still don’t, sometimes.

    1. 9.2

      freedom is slavery

      Back when I was being raised christian, I was frequently told that the only true freedom was in servitude towards God, and that people who thought that they were free were really slaves to their baser nature. So for these people, freedom is slavery. They may be assholes, They are bigots, but they are also consistant with their backwords doublespeak bullshit.

        1. Oh, you have free will, alright (at least according to some of them). You have the free choice to accept Jesus as your personal savior OR the guy from the National Lampoon will shoot a cute dog, Errr, I mean… accept Jesus as your personal savior OR burn in hell for eternity.

          Easy peasey!

        2. Touche! And God put dinosaurs in the earth as a test of faith!

          Wait a minute, why are we dealing with this shit? Because those ass holes know that somewhere, someone is having fun and they have to put a stop to it.

          Bedtime. Wake me when sanity returns.

  8. F

    What these types never argue, but which would be the most family-protecting stance one could take, is that we should gear our capitalist economy to paying all workers a good living wage so that there is the potential for one parent to stay at home full-time. This is the first, best thing that could be done for the family, whereas keeping Teh Gay from having their rights does absolutely nothing to protect (in fact it harms) families.

  9. 11

    Having argued this with many people in the last few, they just don’t get the logic fail. They were the ones that were so adamant about the whole “you are either for us or against us” crap a few years ago. I guess it doesn’t work the other way around.

  10. 12

    I love how “pro-family” means only that I am not allowed to get married or have kids. It’s not just that it’s contradictory, it’s that they never use the word to mean anything but this contradictory thing. “Pro-family” activists never seem to be lobbying about, say, divorce reform, or parental leave, or increasing the funding for child and youth services. It’s never anything except “protecting” families by not letting gay people have them.

    1. 12.1

      It’s never anything except “protecting” families by not letting gay people have them.

      That’s because they are not trying to protect actual real-life families, but rather are trying to protect their definition of the word ‘families’. To them, words are magic, actual people are nothing.

  11. 14

    I think there is basically something bad about family values. I mean on a conceptual level, I think “family values” are bad values.

    The idea that the family is the essential unit of society I think is in and of itself bad, because it automatically takes power from the individual and assigns it to the group (Ie: the family).

    It doesn’t help that the concept of family proposed by the family values crowd is basically enforced patriarchy, theocracy and homophobia.

    So my take on the whole pro-family thing is, I am anti-family, and instead I am pro-individual.

  12. 15

    What drives the fundiewhackazoids nuts about marriage-equality legislation is that they see it as evil magic. They believe in magic, the proposition that words have power over physical reality (they never actually use the word “magic”, preferring “prayer”). So changing the legal definition of marriage from what they believe is the Bible’s definition redefines their marriages.

  13. 16

    I think what you are missing Zinnia is that these people really do beleive that they are protecting families by opposing same sex relationships. They really do beleive that gays are the greatest threat to the United States and legitimizing same sex relationships is a serious threat to marriage and families.

    So, it makes sense for them to say they are pro-family organizations.

    The Chick-fil-a event they pulled of on August 1st is a clear indication that there are a lot of people out there who think like this.

    1. 16.1

      I really don’t think Zinnia is “missing” this point. I’m pretty sure she knows, as I do, that there are people who actually believe that gays are a threat to all that’s decent and good in America.

      That doesn’t mean we should give them a pass. That doesn’t mean that they’re not wrong. It means that they need to get their asses educated.

      There is a whole industry in this country that profits from gay bashing. These groups that tout “family values” are scams to 1) separate stupid people from their money and 2) deliver votes to politicians who don’t have the people’s true interest as a priority. They need to be outed and they need their lies laid bare for all to see. It doesn’t matter if some of the people in these groups are “true believers” or not. They believe in lies and repression.

  14. 18


    I love how “pro-family” means only that I am not allowed to get married or have kids. It’s not just that it’s contradictory, it’s that they never use the word to mean anything but this contradictory thing. “Pro-family” activists never seem to be lobbying about, say, divorce reform, or parental leave, or increasing the funding for child and youth services. It’s never anything except “protecting” families by not letting gay people have them.

    I never looked at it from that angle, but you’re totally right. In addition, how many of them are calling for stronger crackdown on corporal punishment? I’m sure many of us know of horror stories where a religious parent beat their young child severely (and in far too many cases, to death). If they’re so “pro-family”, shouldn’t they be condemning these people who are destroying families?

  15. 20

    You don’t need to be protected from us. We need to be protected from you.

    The religious sound like a kid who claims to have been bullied becuase another kid stood up to him. The religious are the bullies, and when they don’t get their way, when someone has the courage to stand up to them, they can’t deal with it emotionally. Deep down, the religious are spoilt two year old children used to getting their own way.

  16. 21

    Most everybody knows racism is wrong. When Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck say thinly veiled rascist statements, the more ignorant of baggers think that is a green light to say [email protected]@ot. Then when they get smacked down they go back to choosing their (still racist) words better.

  17. 24

    What they really mean by “protecting families” is protecting themselves from the potential shame and embaressment of having to deal with gay people in their everyday lives. That is really the “failed social experiment” that has been foisted on everyone for so long. That is why they try to prevent bullying programs, and encorage “don’t say gay” programs. They really hope that if they stick their fingers in their ears and sing loud enough that they won’t have to deal with the world changing around them. Even if that is demonstrated by their own children.

  18. 26

    Zinnia, let’s get Internet-lesbian-married. 😛 I always love how eloquently you make your points.

    It’s not about protecting heterosexual, nuclear, one-income families; it’s about treating all people–straight or LGBTQ–as people, with human rights and dignity, and if you’re not doing that, you’re not pro-family at all. You’re anti-“Those People.” And it’s really tiring to have to keep redefining “Those People” as the boundary between Acceptable and Unacceptable changes with time.

  19. 27

    Ummm Dan Cathy: From the business standpoint he is a moron. Who would intentionally alienate about half of America (the percentage that now favors marriage equality)? From the religious standpoint, he – like Billy Graham who had a photo-up last Monday with a bag of Chick-Fil-A – is a garden-variety bigot.

  20. 28

    Can a computer virus infect my computer just by being online? No downloading or uploading. No file sharing. No instant messaging/chatting. No opening of new browsers or opening email or email contents and such. Just leaving my computer on with my homepage screen and connected to internet..

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