Tuesday, November 20, 2012

No Slippery Slope For Same Sex Marriage

The Catholic Church has again weighed in against same-sex marriage using the old slippery slope argument:
If not, why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry?

Rather than take the time to explain why this is such a ridiculous line of argument, I'll just defer to Jay Michelson:

Same-sex marriage is meaningfully different from the other examples always mentioned:
we do not as yet have any evidence of millions of people whose sole path to emotional and physical intimacy is polyamory. We do have that data for gays and lesbians. ...There may be some polyamorists who feel the same way, but we haven’t heard from them as we have from millions of gays and lesbians who have pleaded for equality in public squares, courts, and churches. To analogize the visible to the invisible, the real to the unreal, is absurd—and thus offensive.
Slippery slopes aren't, usually, all that slippery:
Societies often permit one thing while prohibiting another similar thing. Driving 55 is legal—75 or even 85 on one Texas highway—but driving 95 is not. There are differences in degree, not in kind; and yet, societies sit on the slippery slope all the time, and don’t slip. 
And, let's also remember that this is simply not about religious freedom, because we're talking about civil marriage, not religious marriage:
No one is telling the Church what to do within its magisterium (misleading rhetoric about “religious freedom” notwithstanding). I would appreciate it if it would stop telling New York what to do with ours.
Programming note: I'm going to be a guest on the "Sunday Simcha" radio show this Sunday at 12:15  to talk about the Tampa Rabbinical Associations statement in support of LGBT rights. 88.5 FM in Tampa; I don't think they stream on the Internet, but it will be archived later at http://www.wmnf.org/programs/sunday-simcha.

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