We Helped Raise Half A Million Dollars for Restaurant that Endorsed Indiana Legislation

When news hit about Indiana Governor Mike Pence signing the "religious freedom" law which legalized discrimination against LGBT people, outrage was heard from private citizens, businesses and elected officials from around the county. The opposition had given us yet another win albeit that was not their intent.

A few days later when an Indiana pizza restaurant owner announced that she would refuse to cater same-sex weddings, more indignation along with lots of laughter was the result. Her dispatch also brought people posting ridiculing comments, fabricated restaurant reviews, obscene remarks and photos on social media engines. As an end result, the opposition rallied and within 24 hours, over $500,000 was raised for the restaurant owners.

Responses to attacks on our community need to be thought out. Take for example, a few months ago when the billboard was posted in Richmond declaring that "No one is born gay."

There were many ways we could have responded. Some folks wanted to spray paint the billboard or set it on fire.

Instead we found a way to beat the opposition at their own game by responding with another billboard that carried an affirming message: "We are all born to love." (Thank you, Debra Terry and Robyn Bentley, our two local masterminds.)

When anyone is attacked, the immediate reaction can be to strike back, but when our movement is condemned, we must strategize the most effective responses. Those who posted social media retorts in reaction to the restaurant issue, meant well, but their plan backfired. Their actions help the opposition unify and made the offenders wealthy in the process.

We have much to celebrate. We have not come this far with our victories to begin a decline. We will certainly endure and successfully face the challenges. Let's just be smart in the process.