Slippery Slopes and Gay Marriage

When discussing gay marriage, people like Mike Huckabee often introduce fallacious slippery slope arguments:

...well there's there are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let's go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?

Arguments like these don't deal with the issue at hand (gay marriage) and are merely red herring arguments. Imagine if you and I were to discuss playing Chess in a library and you said, "If we allow people to play Chess in the library, we'll have to go ahead and accomodate those who play Strip Poker and Naked Twister." As you can see, I don't address the question of whether Chess should be played, but rather invoke a slippery slope and bring up red herring arguments.

Here are some other slippery slopes:

Why should King's College teach students about the Nazi viewpoint about the Holocaust? Before you know it, they'll have classes recruiting neo Nazis and promoting white supremacy.

Why should we allow for the experimentation of stem cells? What will stop us from killing living people and using their cells too!

The same fallacy is exhibited in "If we allow gay marriage, where do we draw the line about incest, pedophilia, etc." Saying that "If we accommodate gays...we'll have to accommodate drug users is another fallacious argument. Not even really addressing the issue of gay marriage and bringing up incest and drug use is a red herring.

First, to clear up some confusion, gay marriage is simply the marriage of two people of the same gender. This entails nothing about sex, children, or anything.

There is confusion about "strongly advocating" and permitting something to happen.

We don't "strongly advocate" homosexuality when we allow for gays to marry. There's a difference between permitting something and strongly advocating a behavior. The only behavior, in this case, is the ability to marry...and that's not really a behavior. If we enact a law that says wine can be sold on Sunday in supermarkets, are we strongly advocating the purchase of wine by consumers? No, we are simply allowing it. If we allow people to have assisted suicide are we strongly adovating behavior? There are many laws in effect that are simply laws and don't advocate behavior.

Let's have an analogy here...if gay marriage is passed, only homosexuals (for the most part?) will marry. Many people who are otherwise married in heterosexual marriages, are straight and don't want to marry, or not married at all simply won't marry.

If Pennsylvania enacted a law that allows people to catch fish with bare hands out of the Susquehanna River, are we strongly advocating the behavior of catching fish with your bare hands? Those who would like to do so will, but many people simply aren't interested in catching fish with bare hands.

We can have a psychological or philosophical argument about whether or not laws strongly encourage behaviors, but from a legal standpoint, laws aren't made to encourage behaviors. Laws are made to tell you the consequences of actions, permit for actions, and set standards. Sure, if I give a child 50 cents to put in a gumball machine, I may be encouraging the behavior, but it's up to the child whether or not he/she wants to spend the money.

It doesn't really matter what people think of behaviors in regards to the law. We can't have a tyranny of the majority and the nation doesn't bow down to what people consider weird...and it's almost certainly subjective. I consider long fingernails on males, droopy pants, and gangster rap weird, but laws aren't going to pass because of this.

Here are some more slippery slope fallacies:

If we allow residence life to inspect our dorms once a month, they'll eventually search every week! If we allow them to search once a week, they'll search three times a week! If they can search so often, they'll install cameras in our rooms! Ergo, residence life inspecting dorms once a month leads to cameras being installed in our rooms.

If we allow gay marriage, we'll have to reconsider our viewpoints on family members marrying! If we re-define marriage to allow for relatives to marry, we'll then have to allow people to marry pets. If we then allow people to marry pets, we'll then have to allow people to fuck horses. Ergo, gay marriage leads to legalization of horse-fucking.

Both arguments are fallacious.