That Darned Slippery SlopeThere's a new article out in Newsweek about the dreaded slippery slope theory that conservatives have been bringing up about gays and gay marriage for the last several years.
There's a post up about the slippery slope and how the sky really is falling over at the Exodus Blog.
I'd like to make a few quick points.
First, don't be deceived, slippery slopes are a fallacy. One could attach a "slippery slope" argument into nearly any debate. The problem is that it doesn't need proof and the "proof" that is often cited to show it's happening may appear to be on message, but it is usually the result of arm-chair quarterbacking and the misunderstanding (intentionally or unitentionally) of information.
Second, the slippery slope argument is nothing new. Rest assured that it was used in the case of racial segregation, interracial marriage, nearly every religious debate ever discussed, etc. The sky didn't fall then, and it won't now.
Third, the slippery slope that supposedly links gay marriage and gay rights with polygamy is backwards. In the case of polygamy, polygamists have been fighting for marriage rights and recognition for hundreds, if not thousands of years (and it Biblical times, they had full marriage rights in many cases), way before gay rights was even thought of. So to now say that gay rights are creating a slippery slope that leads into polygamy is absurd and backwards. You could just as easily say that the popularity of polygamy in the last 2 decades (yes, it was getting press in the 80's and 90's too, without gay marriage) has led to the gay rights struggle. Either way, you'd be wrong because they are two different issues.
Progress is progress. It doesn't happen because of some elusive slippery slope but because people begin to realize what is right. Refusing to make it legal to let people discriminate against gay people in housing, employment, and other areas isn't creating a slippery slope, it's doing the right thing.
Here's the point. Slippery slope arguments are distractions. Just because HBO made a movie about polygamists doesn't mean gay marriage caused it anymore than interracial marriage caused it or inter-religious marriage caused it. Don't fall for it, just do what is right. And, making discrimination legal isn't right, no matter what your justification may be.