Sunday, November 23, 2008


A couple days ago we saw the new James Bond movie, which rocked. While we were driving to the theater, it made me realize just how many businesses we effectively boycott.

We quit going to our favorite movie theater a long time ago after it pulled "Brokeback Mountain." It's owned by Larry Miller and he apparently felt showing a drama where gay people actually look human was much less acceptable than films showing murder, gore and sadism. There have been issues with his political contributions as well, and so all his businesses are now off limits for us. If you are a Utahn, you know how hard it would be to avoid all things owned by Miller, but we do it (as if Larry Miller misses our $30/month on movies :-)... well, I also pointedly wouldn't buy our last two cars from him).

We also now drive a couple extra blocks to avoid shopping at our once favorite grocery store. I've also stopped eating at a sandwich shop I used to go to about two or three times a week. The owners of both contributed to Proposition 8.

In all, our family has limits on everything from gas stations to electronics stores.

What's weird though is that I don't think of ourselves as "boycotting" these establishments, though we are. There seems to be an implied emotion in that word that I just don't have. It is a dry pragmatic decision.

We are charged so much extra in our jurisdiction in taxes, insurance, lawyer fees and so on (that doesn't even tally up the unquantifiable value of legal marriage). We pay more because some people don't want to treat a family with our anatomical shape the way they want theirs treated. When we give money to such people and they then put some of that money into campaigns to make sure we keep paying more, that indirectly ups their prices, though for only our sort of family. What they are promoting makes what they're selling too expensive, in several ways.

They of course have a right to do so, and we of course can and do shop elsewhere. But I'm not really upset at, say, my favorite sandwich shop. I'm sad their employees, who may support equal rights, won't get my business. But, at another shop, we get to pay nearer the price every other customer pays, or at least we don't invest in a future where we will still have a round-about added gay-tax. So I'd rather give other employees and other owners our money.

But I've not stopped going to all sandwich shops, or stopped eating out. In the same vein, I'm very glad to see our local gay leaders come out against calls to boycott the entirety of Utah. The state of Utah did not contribute to Yes on Prop 8, and a state is not like a business anyway. You can come here and avoid using businesses that fight against our families, as we do. You can safely spend your money, particularly in places like Salt Lake City, Park City, or Moab. Simply, there are several friendly drops of oil in this red state water and they should be nurtured, even if it means, say, sitting in a theater you don't enjoy as much.


Queers United said...

I think the notion of boycotting Utah is stupid and unpractical. There are many fair minded Utahns who should not be penalized for the actions of the others.

Have you told the stores such as the deli place and movies that you are not a patron due to their anti-gay support?

Andee said...

Someone left me a comment the other day on my blog telling me that they were going to boycott the entire state of Utah.

I mentioned that not only is that approach impractical, it's punishing people like me, who live, work, and survive in Utah and fought against proposition 8 the entire time.

She went on and on about how giving ANY Utah business is equal to giving the church more tithing money. I wanted to shake some sense into her, but I didn't succeed.

Your approach is smart, and I applaud you!


Alan said...

What QU said. You should tell these businesses you boycott that they used to get your money but they're not anymore, because of their support of Prop 8. Connect the reason and the financial consequence in their mind and they will pay more attention, otherwise your efforts will serve no purpose.

Ophidimancer said...

It's good that you vote with your wallet, sometimes it's the best way to get through to people, but are you letting these establishments know why you're not using their services or buying their products?

Because a boycott only works if the business knows why it's being boycotted.

Scot said...

qu "Have you told the stores such as the deli place and movies that you are not a patron due to their anti-gay support?"

We have for the business I mentioned specifically here, but, you're right, there are some others I should inform.

Andee: "She went on and on about how giving ANY Utah business is equal to giving the church more tithing money. "

Eh, if there's one things both sides have in common it's wrong notions about the other side :-). She's probably never been here anyway.

And okay, okay... q.u., Alan, and Ophidimancer, I'll write more letters right now :-).

Queers United said...

emails and phone calls save on postage but yes letters are most effective