I loved REI when I was a teenager involved with the Marion County Search and Rescue Squad. I loved REI when I was a young Soldier, buying gear to supplement the poor quality issued items from Uncle Sam.
And I love REI today, as I introduce my daughters to the wonders of the outdoor world. I also love them because they've taken a stand against bigotry.
I never use the term 'bigot', because it's always had the connotation of closed mindedness....and has always been used to stifle rather than pursue honest and intellectual debate. In this case however...I believe it's justified.
NOM - the National Organization for Marriage [hetero marriage of course] has come out with a statement in response to REI's recent public statement supporting the idea that homosexuals should be able to enter into a loving and committed relationship, recognized by the state:
“REI is taking a position in support of marriage equality — an issue that is important to the co-op as an inclusive organization and a welcoming place to work and do business."
“The Board, Leadership Forum and I are committed to ensuring that we continue to create an environment where people can be themselves and feel welcome at REI, including respecting religious and political diversity.”
“I want to ensure that our colleagues and customers who have beliefs that run counter to the position the co-op is taking on this issue feel respected in their right to disagree.
My own journey in understanding and coming to this position on marriage equality has been shaped by thoughtful, heartfelt discussions with people who have held a variety of differing perspectives. I encourage you to engage each other in a discussion, practicing our core value of respect—“we listen to and learn from each other.”NOM recieves the bigot label for their response:
REI is the latest corporation to take a stand against biological parenthood by supporting redefining marriage. Any company and any individual who supports redefining marriage is opposing your right as a biological parent. REI Endorses Same Sex Marriage.
Regardless of the other good things these companies do, never forget they are actively opposing your rights as a biological parent. By supporting the redefinition of marriage, they are saying that biological parenthood does not matter – they are saying that your rights, which were granted to you by God, do not matter. The only thing that matters is “legal parenthood.” The only thing that matters is that the state gets to say who counts as a parent.
Here is a list of people and entities that oppose your rights as a biological parent, who are saying, in effect, “We believe that your rights as a parent come from the state. We are working tirelessly to strip society of this notion of ‘biological parenthood.’ The state should be the final arbiter of who counts as a parent; the notion of children coming from your body will at some point be totally insignificant to decisions we make about them and you.”Note my bold portions. Whereas previously, gay marriage was going to somehow 'destroy' your marriage....now if gays marry....you will 'lose your rights' as a parent.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Nevermind that REI made the same [but oppositional] type of public statement as Chik-Fil-A did....and nevermind the obvious inconsistancy of these organizations stating that the 'right' to marry comes from God, yet they both allow and actively seek the state to regulate and tax that right.
We now have the charge that because gays want the same liberties and privileges that their fellow Americans enjoy by virtue of citizenship, consensuality and franchise...they actively 'oppose' those same rights enjoyed by their fellow Americans enjoy by virtue of citizenship, consensuality and franchise.
I've had a difficult time trying to disengage my logic function in an attempt to understand how somebody's brain can possibly go down this intelletual road.