Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences

There have been many conversations, articles, pictures, and opinions thrown around lately over Chick-Fil-A’s donations to organizations that not only oppose marriage equality but also support “reparative therapy” and use BS studies to compare homosexuality to pedophilia. I wasn’t going to blog about any of that. I participated in and started a couple of Facebook discussions and felt I had my fill of the entire conversation.

I did, however, have another post I wanted to write on a related conversation. But that will have to wait because something else came up today that I need to discuss.

Today, a woman . . . the mom to a really cool, intelligent, and talented 10-year-old (I might be biased – he is my nephew, but seriously, he’s a really awesome kid) . . . and the legal partner of another woman (who, by the way, is also awesome) . . . drove by a local business and noticed a sign they had posted in support of Chick-Fil-A.

Joianne, my sister-in-law (former . . . whatever), left a message for them on their Facebook page. It was calm. It wasn’t vulgar or mean. It just simply stated how she felt. She wrote, “This is somewhere my son loves to pass by and we have been excited to visit. Not anymore. I’m sad to see a local business anti LGBT marriage.”

This business owner could have simply responded with, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is what we believe,” and I’m fairly certain it would have ended there. But that’s not how she responded. This is how she responded:

“Isn’t it wonderful Joanne Fraschilla, that you and your son can enjoy the animals here because I have a traditional marriage with a husband who works with me 90 hours a week to take care of these animals, and the summer camp….we’re 66-68years old….there were no gays or queers in our time…..if two old ladies chose to live together..so be it, let them deal with God when they get there…but to have the “face sucking” thrown in my face of two gay lesbians who are totally destroying the “normal balance in a child’s life” as you claim your son…where is the role model that your son needs to know how to act like a man? or will he only see the “one sided selfishness” of a “single parent”…and end up an out cast in society by being “gay” himself because he didn’t have a father as a role model. I’ll pray for you….remember what the bible says: “Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas”…..guess that’s why God invented aids….

THIS LOCAL BUSINESS WILL BE ONE MAN ONE WOMAN ONE GOD MAKES MARRIAGE….AND PROUD TO DO SO….YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY TO OWN YOUR OWN BUSINESS”

Like Joianne, I fully believe this woman has a right to her opinions, as psychotic as I might think they are, but when you lash out publicly with such vulgarity and hatred . . . when you personally attack someone like this . . . you deserve whatever backlash it brings.

Joianne started a petition on Change.org. She’s not asking for anything more than an apology. Earlier this evening, Joe from Joe.My.God. also blogged about the incident, helping to drum up more exposure. I think that’s important.

I don’t wish ill towards anyone and it’s not that I long to see someone’s business fall, but when you own a business, you should mind your words. I fully believe that there are more people ready to stand up and speak out against hatred and discrimination than there are those willing to condemn good, honest people solely because of who they happen to love. The response that’s come from this . . . in just the past few hours . . . has helped solidify my faith in that.

Thank you Joianne for standing up for yourself and your family, and thank you to the community for standing behind Joianne.

UPDATE: Since I posted this about an hour ago, Joianne’s story has been told on a bunch of other sites and blogs. Here are just the ones I’ve seen so far:

W. Thomas Adkins

Good As You

TOWLEROAD

Brody’s Notes & Scribbles

supersoygrrrl.tumblr.com

UPDATE: It’s been less than 24 hours since the original message was posted. (At this exact moment, it is 3:27pm on 7/31/12.) Joianne’s story has now been posted to several other news and blog sites, including The AdvocateHuffington Post, and Think Progress. In less than 24 hours her petition has garnered over 800 signatures (300 of them in the last 2 hours alone).

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tammy W. on July 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    You know where I stand on the martiage debate, but I completely agree with ypu that the B&B owner was out of line; she wad completely unloving in her comment, totally incorrect in her Bible quotation, & horribly unwise in concern to her business. I completely respect your sis for her apology request. However, the Yelp ad referenced in the comments to the blog you linked was unethical & icky, too. 😦

    Reply

    • Thanks for your comment, Tammy. . . . I had no idea what you were talking about in regards to the Yelp comment, so I had to go look. I agree about that . . . it’s certainly not an approach I would take or condone. I’d much prefer to stick with the facts of the situation, which I think are unethical and icky enough as it is.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tammy W. on July 30, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Sorry to monopolize your comment sectiom. 😉 I was about to message you this post when I saw your link to a HP article pleading for compassion & understanding from “anti-gays.” (The link I was going to post would have had the comment of “Hey, I think I found an article about Chick-Fil-A that we can both appreciate.” Here it is: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/ken-coleman/redefining-tolerance-chick-fil-a_b_1711677.html)

      I totally get that there are way too many people out there who are hateful toward homosexuals & seriously harm them. Almost enough to make me want to separate myself from the tern “Christian”–except for how much I love the person whose name is part of that title so many who seem so far from His compassionate yet firm stance. That said, I truly felt sorry for the author & how he perceived others’ views of him.

      However, the link to supposedly “anti-gay” organizations Chick-Fil-A has funded were simply marked by the term “Christian.” While those who do take the Bible literally would not support homosexuality, that doesn’t mean they (or I) hate gays, are fearful of them, or make it their business to regularly speak out in a negative way against their lifestyle.

      Reply

      • I’m not sure what you mean by “simply marked by the term “Christian,” but these are organizations that think nothing of gay bullying, supported a “kill the gays” bill, and compare homosexuals to pedophiles (just to name a few) – I don’t see them “simply marked” anything but hateful and discriminatory.

        I finally read the article and I can agree to a certain extent. My standing is that I will not judge the entirety of a person based on a few of his or her political views, but I do not think tolerance extends to discrimination (in fact, I wrote a really, really long post about that tonight and have been extremely emotional about the whole thing).

        Reply

  2. Good for her for standing up! That lady was horrible and I would rather have lesbian parents anyday (even though I don’t) over someone as cruel and ignorant as her. I signed that petition yesterday and I am proud of it! 🙂

    Reply

    • I feel sorry for the children in her care. I’m disturbed most by the fact that she has and still does work with children. . . . And yes, I’m very proud of Joi!

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anne Katherine on August 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Wow, that woman… I had to laugh – in her day there were no gays? Just the 2 old ladies perhaps living together. Don’t ask, don’t tell, I presume. Secrets are evil, though, and never ever healthy. I only wish that she would have to deal with the issue in some real way in her life – like if someone she loved were gay. Only then might someone like that even begin to change their perspective.
    Kudos to your sister-in-law!

    Reply

    • Yeah, I know. I was amused by the no gays in her time thing too!

      “I only wish that she would have to deal with the issue in some real way in her life – like if someone she loved were gay.”

      I think about this a lot . . . and actually, that’s the post I wanted to write before this issue came up and I wrote about this instead. I wanted to write a post called, “What if it was your child?” and ask people to really, honestly think about how they would react if their child came to them one day and said he/she was gay.

      Reply

  4. I’m wary any time someone talks with such exaggeration: “totally destroying,” “he will only see,” “there were no gays or queers.” I mean, how can we even take her response seriously? It’s just meant to hurt others. And the most surprising is that this is from a business. Talk about ruining your reputation and brand.

    Thanks for showing us how NOT to act, Dayle! And for bringing this up!

    Reply

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