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Beware of the Gay Marriage Slippery Slope

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Gay marriage will lead to polygamy, bestiality, murder and God forbid, Cat-dogs!

The slippery slope; it is a common ploy used by politicians and religious zealots to invoke fear by stating that a certain course of action will lead to undesirable consequences. It is being used more frequently now as marriage equality progresses because there is no logical argument against it. Granting two people who love each other, regardless of gender, the license to marry causes no harm. Therefore, if they cannot craft a valid argument against point A, scare them with point B, C and ultimately Z.

It is easy to craft a slippery slope argument, for example; slavery must be maintained, because if we allow people to live in a completely free society, the family will fall apart, the institution of marriage will disintegrate, the government will collapse and Christianity will be rejected. Does this sound familiar? Substitute the word "slavery" with "gay marriage" and it is exactly what several prominent religious leaders and politicians are saying today. But this same argument to maintain slavery was used by the American social theorist, George Fitzhugh who published his pro-slavery book, Cannibals All! in 1857. Slavery in the United States was abolished and none of those dire consequences came to pass. Indeed, the abolishment of slavery only brought about good things.

I would like to tell you what will happen when marriage equality becomes recognized by the United States Federal Government. Gay men will marry gay men. Lesbians will marry lesbians. Straight men and women will marry each other. Some people who attend those weddings will laugh, cry, dance and drink too much. LGBT couples will get to file one joint tax return instead of filling out multiple returns in states where same sex marriage is recognized at the state level, but not at the federal level. LGBT married couples will receive the approximately 1100 federal rights that straight married couples receive.

I would also like to tell you what will not happen. Straight people will not turn gay. No one will be allowed to marry their cat, dog or other animal and no one will be allowed to have multiple spouses. The institution of marriage will not be diminished. If you think your marriage is harmed by same sex marriage, then your marriage is already on shaky ground. That is it. If anyone attempts to state why marriage equality is wrong because it sets a precedent or will lead to something dire, there really is no point in countering the argument because their reasoning is flawed and immature. They are grasping at straws.

I do have my own hopes for what marriage equality will lead to, however: greater acceptance of LGBT people and their families, better mental health of LGBT citizens, less bullying of LGBT teens, lower teen suicide rates, stronger legal protections for LGBT marriages and local economies experiencing a boost due to LGBT weddings. If any of these things lie at the bottom of that slope, then let it slide.

William Dameron's personal blog is The Authentic Life