Gay marriage and the slippery idea of a slippery slope.

March 15th, 2006

Some of the arguments I’ve seen employed in favor of amending the Wisconsin constitution to prohibit gay marriage invoke the concept of the slippery slope.

In other words, viagra drugstore if we allow same-sex marriage, viagra what is to stop us from being forced to accomodate polygamy, etc…

But “slippery slope” is a slippery concept.

For example, most critics of same-sex unions seem to imagine the following marriage “slope:”

0: No marriage at all.
1: Marriage is one man and one woman.
2: Marriage can include two people of the same sex.
3: Marriage can be made up of one man and many woman. (My current favorite.)
4: Marriage can be one woman and many men.
5: Marriage can involve one very sick man and a variety of small, furry forest creatures.

Why is moving from position one to position two any more “slippery” than moving from position zero to position one?

If we can hold steady at position one, why can’t we hold steady at position two?

Plus, who is to say that’s even the right slope?

Maybe it actually goes:

0: No marriage at all – no men married to no women.
1: Same sex marriage – still no men married to no women.
3: Traditional marriage – one man married to one woman.
4: Polygamy – one man married to a bunch of woman.

In that case having one guy being married to one guy and NO women is actually moving away from polygamy.

So, in conclusion, if you’re against polygamy, you should be in favor of gay marriage.

Entry Filed under: Milwaukee,Observations,Philosophy,Politics

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. grumps  |  March 15th, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    And what about, um ya know, Vikings and Roman centurions? Ya know. Just askin’.

  • 2. Dean Mundy  |  March 15th, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Since most critics of same sex marriage would be religious conservatives (I assume, with no backup facts), there would be no “0” because the vast majority of them would feel that Adam and Eve were the first couple and the first marriage.

    Part of that slippery slope would include divorce and cohabitation. Not sure what the order would be.

  • 3. Administrator  |  March 15th, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Technically, wasn’t Adam a bachelor for a bit?

    (Poor guy missed out on the bachelor party though. No one to throw it.)

  • 4. Dave  |  March 27th, 2013 at 12:49 am

    So, I don’t think your statement is logical.

    You cannot say
    1. An apple is defined as nothing
    2. An apple is the round fruit we know to be an apple
    3. An apple is an apple and an orange
    4. An apple is an apple, an orange, and a pear.

    Logically, you have to start at 2. Once you go to 3 you make the definition arbitrary and 4 easily follows.

    Stick to equal protection clause arguments – the prop was a discriminatory act against a minority class

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