Thursday's ruling by the California State Supreme Court may or may not have a monumental impact on the right of gays in the U.S. to be married. Whether it does or not, brace yourselves for the upcoming deluge of "slippery slope" arguments--such as the one made in these comments left by Dave Hodges on the Irrational Optimism blog--that will likely flood the blogosphere in record proportions.
To quote Mr. Hodges:
"...if the state can redefine terms at the whims of the populous, define
marriage to be between two men, [why] can't they define a chimp to be a person to
collect benefits from the government? What is stopping them from
redefining marriage to be between a man and a child? Or an animal? Or an
inanimate object? What is to keep a man from wanting to marry his other
Of course, this sort of ridiculous, homophobic rhetoric is neither without precedent, nor is it necessarily reserved only for the completely ignorant or uneducated masses. What I find so surprising--aside from the lack of reason in these arguments--is that their purveyors miss the irony that they are serving as examples of the much more dangerous slopes we, as Americans and people in general, find ourselves prone to slipping down.
Those making arguments such as Mr. Hodges' don't seem to realize that they are themselves standing--or more correctly, sliding--down the slippery slopes of fear, intolerance, and bigotry. By the false logic of their own vehement debate, would it not be fair to conclude that they themselves are only a few steps removed from committing hate crimes out of unbridled prejudice, or perhaps locking themselves in their homes, guns at hand, fearfully preparing themselves and their families for some sort of imagined "gay invasion" because of their unchecked fear?
If Mr. Hodges and those sharing his deluded ideas aren't careful, they may find themselves slipping further and further down the slope, until they themselves are resting at the bottom of an abyss of inhumanity and hatred. Tread lightly.