Friday, February 6, 2009

When A Slippery Slope Isn't A Slippery Slope

The argument coming from the Sutherland/Eagle Forum/Utah Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance super trifecta is that any granting of rights to same sex marriage is the first step in what would eventually become gay marriage. We would be on the same slippery slope that the state of California found themselves on, and we all know how that turned out.

There is quite a large hole in that argument though. Consider what prop 8 did in California.

Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition in the November 4, 2008, general election. It changed the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry, thereby overriding portions of the ruling of In re Marriage Cases. The measure added a new section (7.5) to Article I, which reads: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
So in response to the state's court ruling that same sex marriage must be legal, California amended it's constitution to prevent it. The reason for this is because the California Supreme Court ruled that it must be legal based on the then current version of the state constitution, so the only way to overturn that was to amend the constitution, which gave us prop 8.

Now the Utah constitution already has it's own amendment.
Utah Constitutional Amendment 3 is an amendment to the Utah state constitution that defines marriage as a union exlcusively (sic) between a man and woman. It passed in the November 2, 2004 election, as did similar amendments in ten other states.

The amendment reads as follows:

1. Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.
2. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.
So the remedy to the 'slippery slope' in California was a constitutional amendment. In Utah we already have the amendment, so what threat can a slippery slope pose? Unless amendment 3 is repealed, which can only be done by another amendment of the constitution, then there is no slippery slope. Same sex couples can have every right that is currently being considered by the state legislature, but they still can't slipperyily slide into marriage because of the constitutional firewall that's been in place for over four years.

Why then is our super trifecta continuing to bring up the slippery slope when it seems that the slope doesn't exist. It almost looks like they just don't like teh gays having teh rights doesn't it?


  1. Jason,

    I highly recommend reading LaVar Christensen's speech from last night. It'll be online next week. Once you've read this side's full argument, then we can discuss it better. Thanks for continuing the debate.


  2. You'll understand if I'm skeptical Matt. From LaVarr's speech:

    “We do not make laws, we merely distort and twist God’s laws..."

    He's making this far to easy for marriage equality advocates. :)

  3. So you have a constitutional amendment that says "no X", and you want to do a little bit of X and say that it won't lead to more X because there's a constitutional amendment saying so? I don't get your argument.

  4. Not rocket science, Thelema. If "X" is still possible, then why did we waste all that time and money with the constitutional amendment banning "X."

    Pretty simple argument really.

  5. thelma, that's not quite the argument, it's more along the lines of if you have a constitutional amendment saying X is illegal, and you want Y then it can't lead to X, since X is illegal, according to the constitution.