I've been following not only the fight FOR LGBT rights, but also the fight AGAINST those rights for years. In interviewing all sorts of anti-gay activists, religious figures, and so-called researchers, none of their arguments have ever struck me as logical or even remotely realistic. One particular argument that continues to come up time and again that seems noticeably unhinged is the slippery slope argument. This contents that legalizing same sex marriage will inevitably lead to some combination of legalized polygamy, incest, child rape/marriage, marriages between people and animals and marriages between people and inanimate objects.
Some flavor of this ludicrous argument surfaces every few weeks from some corner of the bigoted right wing. Most recently, it was Cal Thomas speaking to Shannon Bream on Fox News. Check out this clip for context:
No matter how you slice or present this slippery slope argument against gay marriage, it makes no sense.
- If your argument is based on the Bible and maintaining supposed "Biblical" marriage, as Cal Thomas alludes to in the above clip, then you fail. The Bible was rife with polygamy, concubines, forced marriages to rapists, and all sorts of other arrangements that the religious right warns will take place if gay marriage is legalized. In other words, gay marriage is not a prerequisite for polygamy. It has been around for a while, including in the document that the religious right points to as a guide for what marriages should look like.
- If your argument is focused around marriages between adults and children, also mentioned by Cal Thomas, that simply makes no sense. Regardless of the gender of those getting married, age of consent laws are in place. Further, child marriage has been an issue around the world for a long time, and it hasn't depended on legal gay marriage.
- Bible aside, polygamy as a result of gay marriage doesn't logically follow. There have been and will continue to be advocates of polygamy. Their arguments don't depend on, nor do they require, gay marriage. Typically, they're based on the idea that consenting adults should be able to enter into whatever kind of relationship they want. Gay marriage, which allows for marriage between any two consenting adults, period, wouldn't influence polygamy.
- To take what is one of the most absurd slippery slope gay marriage arguments -- marriages between people and animals -- established law already prevents not only this, but any contracts between animals and people. Animals are not capable of informed consent as required for marriage, and thus the law doesn't allow for animals to enter into contracts with humans, regardless of whether Tim and Joe get married.
As farcical as the slippery slope gay marriage arguments are, I keep hearing them...and they make less sense every time.