“OLD DOOR” PHOTO BY ‘TPMATT’ / SXC.HU

Slippery Slope Time

When the door to certain freedoms is knocked down, other issues make their way through too

I’ve always had a firm stance that the argument for gay marriage is not the argument we should be having as a country, and that the REAL argument is why our Government (who is supposed to be in the business of protecting our freedoms and our citizens) has any say in ‘whom’ we marry. Contrary to how most people interpret that stance, it is neither pro-gay-marriage or anti-gay-marriage. It’s a stance of too much governmental control.

There are two opposing sides here: the religious and traditional folks against those pushing for equality and unlimited freedom. In other words, one side argues that marriage started out as a religious ceremony or institute and only afterward did it make it’s way into the various governments around the world for legal, social, emotional, and financial benefits…therefore, they argue that the traditional institute of marriage should be kept sacred within legislation. The other side argues that marriage was a cultural act first (starting with general monogamy), then made it’s way into religious circles around the globe - religious aspects/beliefs should therefore be set aside due to seperation of Church and State, and equal rights be granted to everyone to marry whoever they desire.

Either way, I still wonder if the correct argument is being made on both sides, and if there is some other direction that hasn’t yet to be uncovered that allows freedom and equality to both opponents. I wonder if time, money, and resources are wasted on issues that could be solved in another way…

As you are probably already well informed of the Supreme Court’s rulings today pertaining to the Defense of Marriage Act, folks who practiced same-sex-marriage within the 12 states in which it’s legal (and the District of Columbia) may now receive the same federal benefits as folks who practice opposite-sex marriage. We won’t get into the specifics here, but that’s a pretty generalized summary.

While many are celebrating that strides are surely being made to give freedoms where freedom needs to be given, I’m neither suprised or concerned….I’m only curious to see what will happen next; what additional issues will make their way through the door that has been metephorically knocked down today. My reasoning to think that more issues will be made know is simple - In the gay community, the strongest argument for their position is this: “A person cannot help who they fall in love with; who they want to spend the rest of their life with, and all people should receive the rights, freedoms, and benefits of marriage regardless”.

While I don’t claim to agree or disagree with that statement, it makes me wonder if a there is a limit to this stance…

For example, some people claim to be in love with multiple persons at once, and would love nothing more than to marry each one of them and spend their lives together (granted they all agree and consent). It is a limit on their freedom of choice if they are not granted such a marriage and the benefits that go with it, is it not? Furthermore does this outcome our Supreme Court handed down today allow for such a freedom of choice if state law allows, and grant each partner within such a marriage full access to federal benefits? They can’t help who they fell in love with….

The 42-year-old teacher who falls in love with their 14-year-old student couldn’t help who they fell in love with, and limiting their ability to marry is trampling on their freedoms… besides, who puts an age limit on love? Who decides that? Isn’t the freedom of the 14-year-old’s choice being trampled here?

Yes, some folks will call this a “Slippery Slope” fallacy… but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a predictable outcome; a hypothesis. What do you think?