The Battles Won and the Boycotts: When is Enough Enough?

April 23, 2014 in inQueery

enoughThe legal landscape for gay couples has been changing for the better over the past few years, but what does that mean for the proponents of anti-gay legislation who’ve spent time and money battling it? Some opponents of equal-rights legislation are now facing new challenges as they begin to move forward with their lives and businesses.

Businessmen like Brendan Eich – the creator of javascript and the now former CEO of Mozilla face challenges directly related to their support of anti-gay legislation. Eich would be appointed CEO of Mozilla, only to resign 11 days later due to the intense backlash he faced over his $1000 dollar donation to support anti-gay legislation. Despite his many qualifications to be CEO, Eich was ultimately unseated by an unpopular belief he held which affected not only public perception of the Mozilla company, but also prompted boycotts of their products from entire companies (OKCupid being one of them).

On a smaller scale, a New Mexico photography company Elane Photography recently lost an appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court in their case to uphold their standard of not photographing same-sex wedding nuptials. The company denied to photograph this couple due to the fact that it was a same-sex commitment ceremony, and stated as such in an email back to them. While Elane may have lost out financially in more ways than one, clearly the burden of a differing opinion is already taking a toll on the business as the company was ordered to pay over $6000 in legal fees. This is in addition to the potential cash flow of photographing an event that the company didn’t agree with from a religious standpoint.

While these individuals and companies have been suffering financially, one other company is starting to take notice of how to handle a loss and move on. That company is none other than Chick-Fil-A. Chick-Fil-A’s CEO Dan Cathy drew massive ire when he reportedly donated millions to anti-gay causes and became somewhat of a political figurehead when he spoke out against same-sex marriage. Reactions to the controversy varied, which called for both boycotts from equal-rights supporters and support from the equal-rights detractors. Ultimately, Dan Cathy decided to stay silent on the issue going forward as he expressed an interest in focusing solely on customer service instead of politics. While this upset some right-wing commentators, it seems as though Dan Cathy’s strategy is one of the few that have come out of the battle well-enough.

While the issue of same-sex marriage is one that is currently facing a massive overhaul, few on the side of restricting marriage to one man and woman are going to know how to handle the political and social fallout from it. While boycotts and business-flooding seem to work in favor for some detractors, they are not sustainable in the long-run, and one has to wonder when enough is enough. For businesses and individuals who did not support same-sex marriage rights, the fight still rages on as boycotts threaten their financial streams and job opportunities. If there is one thing that is certain, it’s that we haven’t heard the last of this issue as the fight for equal rights is still very much alive.

J.J. Medina is a Writer at InQueery.
You can follow J.J.’s personal and business ramblings on Google+