Occasionally I’m reminded of the downward trajectory of the discourse in America over social issues like gay marriage. And, by occasionally, I mean several times a day. Proponents of gay “marriage” and all sorts of tolerance-toters typically speak in lofty terms about how open-minded and forward-thinking they are. However, when confronted with somebody’s viewpoint which does not fall lock-step in line with what they selectively call “tolerance”, these faux civil rights pioneers quickly devolve into name calling, shouting down opponents, and condescending or degrading those who think differently. After all, as it often is when debating the left, “the debate is over”–even though nearly 50% of Americans still oppose the redefinition of the institution of marriage.
It will only be a few short years before even the insinuation that you don’t believe that marriage is anything that any small minority of people might decide it is, or you believe that your gender is dictated by your genitalia and not your mood that day will get you fired from most any job (it has already happened to Brendan Eich at Mozilla) and run out of business by the government (cake bakers* and photographers* across the country can say Amen). Calm, reasoned argument is met with insult. Personal attacks; the new standard for a valid argument.
Truly, it is not surprising that the Democrat Party has embraced this type of behavior–after all, it is the party of Jim Crow, segregation and slavery–yet another coercive and hate-filled campaign against those who are different should be no surprise. You can take the issues away from the bigots but you can’t take the bigots out of the Democrat Party. This thuggery isn’t confined to the spiteful individuals bursting into church services to accost supporters of Prop 8 or those vandalizing Chick-Fil-A’s, and has spread to the government (Boston Mayor Tom Menino and the City Aldermen of Chicago barring Chick-Fi-A from operating in their cities). It will soon begin saturating businesses, like the restaurant owner in Knoxville Tennessee who denied entry to a pro-marriage politician, and to corporate entities, like Overstock.com.
Speaking of which, on June 1st, Overstock.com changed its Facebook.com profile photo for “Equality Month”, in support of gay marriage. Ostensibly in support of “equal rights”, Overstock explained on their social media page that Overstock “has and will stand for equal rights” and called the stance “socially responsible”. Ah, equality. That’s a word that supporters of gay marriage like to bandy about. EQUALITY. As if, by saying gay marriage is about equal rights, it silences opposition.
And, sometimes it does. But if equality is truly their concern, Overstock.com might as well change their profile picture in support of abolitionists, because gays have had the same rights as straight people for decades. Two gay men literally cannot marry anymore than they can fly–the word marriage always has, and always will mean the joining of a man and woman (even in societies that otherwise celebrated homosexuality), regardless of whether the government legislates that the word means something else. The government can legislate that everyone is now skinny, or fat, or rich, or poor, or that everyone is now beautiful, but reality never changes. The illogicality of the position that Overstock.com and supporters of gay marriage hold aside, a more subtle inference is missed in Overstock’s recent statement.
Overtock has stated on several occasions that this profile change was in “support of equality.” Overstock is saying, here, that if you do not support gay marriage, then you support INequality. Bigots. Again, setting aside the illogicality of Overstock’s inference, this is in fact itself an ignorant and bigoted statement. Overstock’s is not an unusual type of statement from the gay marriage crowd, but let’s turn the table.
Let’s say, I own Overstock.com. Let’s say, as I am, that I am pro-life.
In February, let’s also say that I change the company’s profile picture to red in support of life and announce that we are pro-life, because we are opposed to MURDER.
Wait ten seconds.
Now, chaos ensues, as my company is run out of town on a rail and I am digitally and maybe even literally lynched for inferring that pro-choicers support murder (they do, whether they think they do or not, but I digress). Does the offensiveness of Overstock’s statement now appear crystal clear?
As of 2013, a plurality of Americans support gay marriage, at 49% (Pew). However, 46% of Americans are opposed to gay marriage. This is more than the 45% of Americans (Gallup) who say that they are pro-choice. Surely Overstock.com wouldn’t want to possibly alienate 46% of their customers by calling them bigots, right? Wrong.
After numerous attempts to reach Overstock.com for comment, which were repeatedly ignored, Overstock.com spokesperson Judd Bagley agreed to speak with me. I have quoted Mr. Bagley here:
“Overstock.com supports policies that promote marriage equality. We believe discrimination is un-American and bad for business. We also recognize and affirm your right to disagree.”
So not only is Overstock overtly supporting this political cause, but they have re-emphasized that it is socially irresponsible and bigoted to oppose the definition of marriage being upended. In fact, 46% of America–you are “un-American.” But, Overstock recognizes your right to be a bigoted hate-monger. Please buy some over-priced goods!
Back on the Facebook page, however, Overstock has as of June 30th deleted a number of their insulting Facebook comments and has been routinely scrubbing respectful inquiries about this policy–but not before hordes of gay marriage supporters descend like the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys to berate and insult, as good internet commenters do (I do not recommend reading the comment sections of anything on the internet if you struggle with depression). They’ve also changed their profile photo (the one in support of Equality Month), just half way through the month of June. It’s almost like they’re ashamed of their behavior–and they should be. They have haughtily condescended and insulted a huge number of their consumers. Now, they are hoping, without retracting their statements or apologizing, that no one notices.
Gay “marriage” is a complex issue, and for a corporation like Overstock.com to demean their customers by misleadingly over-simplifying the issue is the opposite of being a responsible business. I’m almost never in favor of boycotts, so I won’t endorse one here. But I do use my own personal dollars as a weapon, as any good capitalist should. I reward good behavior by patronizing solid businesses and I punish bad business practice by withdrawing my patronage. So, I’m providing my readers with the information that there is a 46% chance that Overstock.com views them with disdain and has some hateful and bigoted words reserved for them. You do with that information what you will.
David Teesdale, will not be shopping at Overstock.com. Voluntarily, that is, until Overstock.com no longer will sell to supporters of marriage.
* Before any of my less logical readers cry “hypocrisy!” (as this somehow validates their own inferior arguments), the cake bakers and photographers refusing to provide service for gay weddings due to conscience are NOT comparable to the discrimination against the Knoxville politician or Overstock’s bigoted policy. The photographers and bakers regularly provide service to gay individuals, just not gay “weddings”.