The Gay Marriage Ban and the Slippery Slope

The citizens of Minnesota are going to have the opportunity to vote on banning gay marriage in November 2012.  Outside of the obvious insecurity in their marriages or religious convictions, why is a single group of people advocating for the government to take away another group of people’s rights?  

Since we have this little thing called “separation of church and state” that was originated to keep the government neutral in matters of religious values, I guess it is safe to ignore perceived religious reasons for banning gay marriage.  Otherwise, that would just contradict the whole basis for why people persecuted for their religion came to America in the first place.  So that can’t be it.

It can’t have anything to do with procreation otherwise there would be a big push to ban elderly people from getting married.  I guess the best arguments they have is that it’s icky, or just look at what happened to the (insert now defunct empire here) Empire, and who knows what it would lead to next.

I’m fond of the “slippery slope argument,” what would it lead to next?  Wasn’t it Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum that used to use the “man on dog” analogy?  Good luck Rick on your run for President.  Yep, slippery slope, somehow gay marriages will start a chain reaction that will destroy the very existence of what marriage is and means.  The argument usually includes children, incest or animals, followed by the statement “we have to draw the line.”  

But what is great about any slippery slope argument is that there are always two sides to that slippery slope.  For instance, if we make it constitutional to disapprove of this type of marriages, where do we draw the line?  What if we require government approval to get married?  Or what if we follow the Catholic Church’s doctrine and deny divorcees of the right to marriage?  Why couldn’t we prevent an American citizen from marrying an immigrant?  Read with very sarcastic tone: Everybody knows that immigrants and THE gays brought down the Roman Empire…

Excluding the Republicans who have been terrified by three decades of fear mongering by political strategists and egomaniacal right-wing religious leaders, is it really for the rest of us to decide who can get married?  Should we care whether two consenting adults love each other enough to make a formal commitment to each other?

Obviously I’m not the only one who thinks two grown adults should have the same legal and tax rights that I have.  A recent CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans support gay marriage rights.  And opinions are drastically shifting on this issue toward more Americans supporting that right.  The changing poll numbers over the last two decades show how drastically public opinion is shifting in favor of gay marriage.  In 1990, less than 20% of the public supported gay marriage while about 70% opposed it.  In April 2011, 51% of the population thinks gay marriage should be recognized.  I expect that trend to continue, so this could be among the last couple years that a law like this could even be considered.

With public opinion shifting so quickly towards acceptance, you kind of wonder why this is so important to legislators who might be viewed quite negatively in a few years.  A couple days ago, we got a robo-call call from a Christian group pushing for this amendment.  Then it clicked.  Republicans are more concerned with supporting those radical groups that got them elected in 2012, than supporting the will of the people.  OK, got it.  I guess it had to be done, if nothing else for Republican political fundraising reasons. 

31 states have put a vote to ban gay marriage on the ballot, and it has passed in all 31 states.  I think Minnesota has the legitimate potential to be the first state to vote one down. That gives me hope, but I’m not looking forward to the flood of spending on divisive political TV and radio ads from local and national groups on both sides of the issue.

I kind of wonder what’s next though if they are successful, should gays be allowed to vote?