Today, I missed the national demonstrations against Proposition 8 and similar laws designed to rescind lesbian and gay couples’ extremely limited access to marriage. While I am encouraged by the huge turnout on short notice, I’m disturbed by the tactic of demonstrating outside of Mormon temples. I think it’s a mistake, and here’s why: What could be more attractive to the opposition than the sight of thousands of angry queers thronging outside the door of a religious establishment?
In no way am I acting as apologist for the mean-spirited (and, given tax laws, ostensibly illegal) manipulation that the Mormon organization has used against gay men and lesbians nationwide. That any religious organization is allowed to fund political campaigns against matters of civil law with impunity is completely disturbing, but hardly news. What is shocking is how far the LDS corporate piggy bank reaches–even into your local university cafeteria. If you think that $9 is just a bit much for a salad and a drink, then this should motivate you to brown-bag it for equality.
If you eat at any Sodexho establishment, which includes thousands of college, university, hospital, and military cafeterias and sporting events vendors nationwide, then your money (and yes, mine) went to fund the campaign for Proposition 8. If you stayed at any of the Marriott Hotel chains, you (we) bought the rope for your (our) own political hanging–no matter how grateful Bill Marriott is for your having held a gay pride event there.
If you eat at Burger King, Blimpie’s, Chik-Fil-A, KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, or just about any other food-court-style fast-food operation, Sodexho’s co-branding has made it convenient for you to, quite literally, pay for your own oppression. Search “Sodexho” or “Sodexo” and your favorite university and see who’s filling your belly full of hate.
I think that we, as lesbian and gay people, need to do two simple things now. First, follow the money and pledge to boycott any and all corporations that bear the slightest financial responsibility for the Proposition 8 campaign and similar efforts in all states nationwide. Second, convince your straight allies, family, and friends to pledge to do the same. The economy can’t take the pressure. Let’s fight back.