I wasn't planning to write about Stacey Campfield, he of the rampant homophobia, bigotry and utter idiocy, but the more I saw this story, the more annoyed I got.
At the LGBT community. So, here goes....
Stacey Campfield doesn't like gay folk...even though he may be one.....oops did I say that out loud.....and he works his legislative ass off to prove it. He doesn't want folks saying 'gay,' he likes to spread old wives tales about gay men having sex with monkeys to start the AIDS epidemic, he believes straight people cannot get, or transmit, HIV.
In other words, he's a delusional douche. But, the last time I checked this was America where one has the right to be a delusional douche, or not. We all have the right to our opinions, whether others agree with them or not, or even if they're true, or not. That's the great thing. Stacey Campfield can suggest that I, as a gay man, may have had sex with a monkey, and I can say Stacey Campfield is a horse's ass.
But then Stacey Campfield wanted to take some friends to brunch at the Bistro at the Bijou in Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was told by the owner that he had to leave because she didn't like his views on the LGBT community. Martha Boggs, the restaurant owner, says she told him to leave, and banned him from the bistro, over his recent remarks about gays and the origin of the AIDS virus: "When I saw him at the front door, I told him to leave. It’s just my way to show support for the gay community and stand up to somebody I think is a bully. He’s really gone from being stupid to dangerous. I think he needs to know what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
And a lot of us cheered. I didn't, and I'll tell you why.
It's discrimination. Sure, discrimination against a homophobe and, as Boggs says, a bully, but it's still discrimination. She booted him from the bistro because of his opinion. Is that really any different than that florist who wouldn't service a gay couple's wedding, or the B&B that wouldn't allow a gay reception?
I don't like Campfield. I think he is a moron, and he is a panderer and a fear monger, but he's also entitled to his opinion. And he's entitled to brunch.
Let me break it down like this: last week the LGBT community--myself included--was in an uproar because hate group, One Million Moms, demanded JCPenney drop out gay entertainer Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson. We all yelled that that was wrong; we signed a petition, we blogged, we Tweeted, we Facebooked it. It is wrong for that group to discriminate against Ellen because she's a Lesbian.
And I say it was wrong for Boggs to discriminate against Campfield because he's a homophobe. Had she ordered a gay man out of the restaurant because she didn't like his politics, his views, his opinions, we'd all be up in arms about it. But because it was Campfield, we say, Yay!
I say, Nay.
Let's try another approach. Say Martha Boggs protested Stacey Campfield's homophobia and bigotry and lunacy--we'd cheer, of course. But then say Martha Boggs went to brunch at a restaurant owned by Stacey Campfield, and he told her to leave because he didn't like her viewpoint. Would we cheer that? Or do we just cheer when homophobes are the target of discrimination?
Again, don't get me wrong, I loathe Stacey Campfield. He's a liar and a bully and a homophobe and a panderer and, quite possibly, a self-loathing closeted gay man, but he's entitled to his opinion. And if we're going to cheer any establishment that kicks out a customer because of his or her own personal beliefs, then we need to cheer every time it happens. Even when it happens to one of us.
Discrimination is wrong, no matter whom is being discriminated against.
But, that's just me.