Discrimination, A Definition

Yikes! It’s been nearly 3 months since by last post. I doubt you care about my excuses, so I won’t bother making any.

Today, I would like to take a moment to discuss discrimination. I’d imagine you’ve heard already about the hullabaloo surrounding the Chik-fil-a CEO Dan Cathy taking a public stand against gay marriage and donating $2 million+ of Chik-fil-a profits to decidedly anti-gay groups. If you haven’t, well, what rock do you live under?

In response, there has been an outcry from those who support gay marriage, or at least don’t support the “traditional biblical” view of marriage. It’s been suggested that those who support gay marriage should boycott Chik-fil-a to avoid having their money end up in the pockets of the anti-gay groups. In response, many in the “traditional marriage” camp, including Mike Huckabee, have decided to show support for Chik-fil-a by eating there more often.

During this kerfluffle, I’ve seen numerous posts on Facebook and Twitter the gist of which say, “Those liberals are discriminating against Chik-fil-a’s Christian values, which is just as bad as, or worse than, the anti-gay discrimination they claim to oppose.”

I’d like to take a moment to define the word “discrimination” for you straight from Dictionary.com:

dis·crim·i·na·tion [dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn]
1. an act or instance of discriminating.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

Can you see where I’m going with this? What Dan Cathy and ilk are doing is the very definition of discrimination. They are opposed to people getting married based on their sexuality (a group, class or category)! Without ever meeting the couple in question, the anti-gay marriage folk want to deny them the rights to marry, have a family, share finances, be at a loved one’s death bed, etc.

Now, I’ve met a few homosexual couples that most definitely should not get married- but that’s because they were a terrible couple! I’ve met even more heterosexual couples that shouldn’t get married; again, not because they’re hetero, but because they suck as a couple. That’s not discrimination- that’s a judgement made on individual merit. Granted, it’s my personal opinion, so you won’t find me donating money to groups actively fighting to prevent stupid marriages because it’s not my place. That’s one of the finer pleasures in being an autonomous adult- the ability to make your own decisions about things like who to marry.

Here’s a handy guide, just in case anybody’s missed my point so far:
No gays can marry! = discrimination
That specific couple shouldn’t marry, and I’m going to voice my opinion about it. =/= discrimination

With me so far?

Now, when someone says “I’m not going to give my money to Chik-fil-a because they support causes I don’t support” that is most decidedly not discrimination. That is making a decision based on the individual merit of that company, and whether or not one wants to be a patron there. Even though support of “traditional marriage” is a very common Christian stance, being pro- gay marriage and speaking out about it does not automatically equate to discrimination against individual Christians or the whole of Christianity.

Here, have another handy guide:
I hate all Christians and won’t let them shop in my store! = discrimination
I’m going to feed any Christian I meet to the lions! = discrimination
I disagree with a specific Christian belief, am going to voice my opinion, and not give my money to businesses that support said belief! =/= discrimination

One last thing I’d like to address is the free speech issue that I’ve also seen cropping up in this debate- often along the lines of “Dan Cathy was just exercising his free speech! And I’m just exercising my free speech when I say I agree with him! Those people who argue with me are trying to take away my rights to free speech! And anyone who won’t eat at Chik-fil-a is taking away Mr. Cathy’s rights!” It absolutely baffles me that people don’t see the irony in statements like that.

Yes, Dan Cathy has the right to publicly state he doesn’t support gay marriage. Yes, so do you. Yes, he has the right to give his profits to whatever charity or group he wants, and you have every right to keep on spending your money at Chik-fil-a if you agree with what he’s doing. But, it’s a two way street down Free Speech Avenue. Us pro homosexual marriage folk have the right to voice our disagreement, as well as spend our dollars elsewhere.  When someone says “I think you’re wrong” it can be frustrating as hell, but it isn’t discrimination.

Handy guide:
Disagreement =/= discrimination
No gays can marry! = still discrimination

I hope that clears things up a little!
Feel free to disagree with me down in the comments!

*For anyone wonder why “traditional marriage” was in quotes throughout this post, I refer you to Betty Bowers.


About Essential Everyday Pineapple

Crazy cat lady extraordinaire, liberal, atheist, feminist, vegetarian, engineering student with an art degree. Essential Everyday Pineapple is just a phrase from a random word generator that had a nice ring to it. What? Blog names are tough.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Discrimination, A Definition

  1. Kristina M. says:

    Yeah, a dude I went to high school with was saying that people protesting CFA were hypocrites. (Funny that an evangelical Christian is calling someone a hypocrite.) I raged internally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s