The Slippery Slope Debate

8.20.2007

By Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Adult consensual incestuous polygamists'I am your brother! (I mean brother metaphorically, not flirtatiously. Don't get any funny ideas.)

I recently got into a little back-and-forth with an editorial writer for the New York Daily News. He wrote a column that called on the gay and lesbian community to come up with a defense against the argument that allowing gays to marry is a short lubricated slope to kissing-cousin harems.

It's too easy to dismiss a slippery slope argument. An appeal to probability is probably one of the laziest forms of logical fallacy-'not that I expect many Daily News columnists to fret much about sophistry. But instead of composing a letter to the editor full of clich'd huffing and eyebrow arching, I've decided to simply embrace their position. Hugging it out almost always confuses conservatives into submission'it's sounwarlikethat they don't know how to respond. So yes, I'll admit that the Big Love bashers and first cousin'phobes have a point. Marriage rights are a slippery slope. Pro'gay marriage attorneys have cited Loving v. Virginia (establishing interracial marriage rights) more times than I've had fianc's. Clearly, our receiving lines have been on the receiving end of the interracial marriage slippery slope.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not getting behind Santorum. (The man, not the frothy fecal matter. Well, neither, hopefully.) The slippery slope I'm wheee-ing down doesn't include bestiality or sibling/offspring incest. Only Republicans seem unable to tell the difference between consenting human beings and farm animals. Or the probability of genetic birth defects. As long as someone can prove they aren't harming anyone, then they're invited onto my water slide. But no one gets a free ride.

When the Loving v. Virginia decision was handed down 40 years ago, we weren't even holding hands in public yet. No one bothered to cite us in slippery slope arguments against the Lovings because they barely knew couples like us existed. We homo households have spent decades proving to heterosexual couples that we're just like them'only with a shared wardrobe.

To reach this point in gay marriage history, millions of gay couples had to spend years living together in unlawful sexual unions. To show how 'normal' we are we had to endure all sorts of indescribable tortures like PTA meetings, going to church, and cash-bar heterosexual weddings. We had to show our faces, get arrested, and willingly embrace the concept of mothers-in-law.

The whole time we've been fighting for our rights we've also been taking marriage for a test drive. While gay humping is as old as the hills, gay couples living openly just like the straight folks do is a relatively new hobby of ours. Just because we thought we could handle civil marriage didn't mean anyone actually knew we could. Nobody looks at a 15-year-old and hands him car keys because he seems like he'd be a good driver. Marriage is a license, and we've been operating under a self-bestowed learner's permit. After several decades, we've proven that we can handle a stick shift with the best of them'better, actually, if you look at Massachusetts divorce rates. Our unions now have higher public approval ratings than the Lovings had at the time of their Supreme Court blessing. A recent poll conducted by The New York Times, CBS News, and MTV shows that 68% of young Americans ages 17'29 believe gay unions deserve to be legally recognized. They've been raised on a steady diet of gay reality show contestants and Rosie O'Donnell's kids'and a lot of them mistakenly think we already can get married.

We probably have another decade or so to go to get 100% hitched. It took a whole lot of good people working their asses off to get to where we are. So I'm not gonna pass my torch song trilogy to any ol' cousin-fucking splinter-group Mormon polygamist. It's not that I don't believe they deserve marriage'it's that I have to be convinced they can hack it. In the words we made famous: You gotta work..

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