Back in 2012, Mike Huckabee came to Chick-fil-A’s defense after the restaurant chain faced criticism for its founder’s anti-gay statements and for donations the company’s foundation had made to anti-gay groups. Huckabee organized a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” in an attempt to block what he described as “economic terrorism” targeting the company. On his Fox News show, he said he would never call for a boycott of Starbucks, Apple or Amazon even though he disagrees with their leaders’ politics.
Huckabee, however, seems to have changed his tune on culture-war boycotts. Time reports that Huckabee has “called on Christians to boycott all snacks made by” Frito Lay after it released limited edition Rainbow Doritos to benefit the anti-bullying It Gets Better Project. Huckabee had demanded that the group apologize and cut its ties with Dan Savage, who founded the anti-bullying group.
The GOP presidential candidate’s anti-Frito Lay campaign reportedly came at the behest of David Lane, a Republican organizer who has linked gays to everything from car bombs to America’s looming destruction and who bizarrely suggests that the creation of Rainbow Doritos could destroy America and curtail religious freedom.
When it became clear that Frito-Lay would not back down, Huckabee and Lane called on Christians to boycott all snacks made by the company in order to protest the perceived connection to Savage, whom they call an “anti-Christian bully.” In a letter to over 100,000 pastors, Lane wrote that “tolerance for Frito-Lay’s brazen corporate support of hate speech by Dan Savage— that were it directed toward Muslim’s, would warrant a Justice Department investigation and prosecution— is chipping away at the very character and soul of the American experience.”
Savage is no longer actively affiliated with the It Gets Better Project, but he did start the idea of It Gets Better, a series of videos by prominent people assuring LGBT youth that if they’re being bullied, it won’t last forever. The idea is to comfort LGBT teens who may be contemplating suicide because of bullying or isolation. “Its hilarious to read that ‘we’re gonna boycott Doritos,’” Savage says. “Michelle Obama’s probably going to call to thank me for getting so many right wing nuts to give up snacks. Maybe they’ll be a little thinner.”
Savage says the backlash to the LGBT Doritos is a perfect analogy for a general attitude towards gay rights. “I don’t see how a gay bag of chips limits anyone else’s religious freedom,” he says. “You don’t have a right to live in a world without bags of gay chips, and it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s private beliefs of practices if there’s a bag of gay chips out there.
Lane disagrees. “He’s promoting an agenda that we believe will collapse America,” Lane says. “Homosexuals used to have a libertarian position: ‘let me do what we do in the privacy of my own home.’ They’ve moved into a totalitarian position: ‘you’re going to participate in our weddings, or we’re going to bankrupt you.’ The next step is fascism: ‘you’re going to cheer at our weddings, or we’re going to put you in jail.”