Gay marriage supporters tend to have little tolerance for slippery slope arguments that compare gay marriage to other illegal relationships like incest and polygamy. I know that I have seen impatience with that kind of argument on this blog numerous times, and I have seen it countless times elsewhere as well. Despite protestations to the contrary, the slippery slope is a reality in today’s New York Times.
What now of the two remaining criminal prohibitions of intimate relationships: incest and polygamy? Even as same sex and interracial relationships are accepted, Americans are now imprisoned for incest or polygamy.
The cases against polygamy and incest are not nearly as strong as most people imagine…
Over time, our moral assessments of these practices will shift, just as they have with interracial marriage and same sex marriage. We will begin to take seriously questions that now seem beyond the pale: Should a state be permitted to imprison two cousins because they have sex or attempt to marry? Should a man and two wives be permitted to live together as a family when they assert that their religious convictions lead them to do so?
Just week before last, The New York Times had another article celebrating the possibility of eliminating exclusivity and monogamy as marital values. And again, in this forum, one contributor decries same-sex marriage as forcing sexual relationships into a one-on-one mold. Rather, she argues that our family laws should recognize a wide array of possible sexual arrangements. She writes:
As the United States gradually makes the membership rules to marriage gender-inclusive, it risks deepening our sharp class and race disparities in marriage and family life. If we wish to avoid this fate, we should not be celebrating the benefits of marriage. Instead we need to develop family policies that give greater recognition and resources to the growing array of families formed, as Nancy Polikoff titled her book, “Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage.”
If anyone is still doubting the legitimacy of the slippery slope, think again. We are already well down the hill. Revisionists aren’t simply trying to redefine marriage; they are trying to destroy it. Welcome to the moral revolution of our time.