Actually It’s Not Adam, Eve, Or Steve

It’s Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve.

Well, thank you sir, that clears things up.

So this phrase is unfortunately a common right-wing Christian argument against same-sex marriage. Yeah, they actually think this is a good line, that it carries a lot of weight, and it ends the debate. It is amusing when people are fully unaware of how ridiculous they sound in the midst of arguing a point that they believe to be a “finisher.”

But it’s a lousy line, it has no clout for most Americans who do not take the Bible literally (or at all), and it hardly brings the debate to a close. And for a growing number, it has nothing to do with Adam, Eve, or Steve, as there is no longer a marriage equality debate for most Americans. Poll after poll shows a majority believe same-sex marriage should be legal and the numbers are only growing towards support and away from discrimination.

And yes, being against same-sex marriage is discrimination. It doesn’t matter if you hold a deep-held belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, that is simply your opinion. There are other people in civil society who have a different belief, a belief that people should be free to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. You want to know the difference? One of these beliefs is exclusionary, and the other is inclusionary. If your beliefs are exclusionary, you are practicing a form of discrimination regardless of whether you believe you are being prejudiced.

An example of this “light” form of discrimination is a response to a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) question on gay marriage by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D):

I was raised in little Farmington, West Virginia — I don’t believe in any aspect of discrimination. I wasn’t raised that way — no matter who you are, what you are — no discrimination. Human beings should treat each other as human beings. With that being said, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

I’m not saying Joe Manchin is a bad guy, or that he doesn’t deserve to be Senator, or that he is demonstrating an egregious form of prejudice. But I’m also not going to mince words, as his position on marriage is discriminatory. There’s a distinction here that many people have failed to see, but their numbers are shrinking as more people finally are able to “get it.” People who oppose same-sex marriage for the reason Senator Manchin stated are not examples of the worst kinds of bigots in the history of the human race. There are obviously much more severe forms of prejudice to shine a light on. But just because a form of discrimination is seen as less heinous, doesn’t make it any less impactful for the people who it affects. Manchin’s “belief” that marriage is only between a man and a woman has a real impact on the lives of some of his constituents. If same-sex marriage was legal in West Virginia, it would not modify or upset the definition of marriage for a man and a woman, it would only allow the same legal status to be extended to a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. By denying that status, due to a belief, Joe Manchin, and others who have this same belief, are discriminating against fellow Americans.

Adam and eve not adam and steve 175064149 9c20b0284c b

photo by lil’bear via Flickr

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IntoleranceMarriage Equality

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