The case for gay marriage - not bestiality or polygamy

Henry Payne cartoon

Henry Payne cartoon

One of the queerest arguments I’ve heard against gay marriage is the slippery slope idea that if gays are allowed to get married then a man marrying an animal – or a man having multiple wives – is next.

It should be noted that zoophilia and polygamy are both illegal while being gay is not. The reality is that being gay does not preclude one from getting a license to drive, vote, or purchase a handgun. So if gay marriage is not illegal – and homosexuals are not second-class citizens by any other measure – why should they be subject to restrictions others are not?

Same-sex marriage opponents never consider the counterfactual to their simplistic argument. If sexual orientation can be used to discriminate when it comes to marriage what’s next? Perhaps they will take aim at other sinners like overweight gluttons, lazy sloths, or those who exhibit the rage of wrath. But why stop there? Felons aren’t allowed to own a gun – so why should they be allowed to get a marriage license? Adulterers have obviously proven they aren’t serious about the solemn vows of marriage. Maybe anyone with a handicap shouldn’t be given the opportunity to share their life with someone? Marriages between individuals of different faiths are three times as likely to end in divorce – so why let them get married in the first place? Some also believe the purpose of marriage is to birth children – so perhaps anyone incapable of producing offspring shouldn’t be allowed to marry?

The reason opponents manufacture such off-the-wall arguments is because there is no justification for their bigotry. If they really cared as deeply as they claim about the institution of marriage they would put their anti-gay energy into improving marriages instead of restricting who can marry. With nearly 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, they devote their passion to lowering that number by eliminating spousal abuse, helping someone before they have an affair, counseling those with addiction, warning people of the pitfalls of working too much, or increasing everyone’s educational achievement – all of which will lower divorce rates and secure the sanctity of marriage.

But if you think that the 1-in-25 people who were born gay are somehow inhuman deviants who deserve to have their rights restricted – I will pray for you.