My Story

Growing up in conservative West Michigan, I watched lesbian and gay friends and family members struggle to be accepted and be treated equally. There are gains and losses in this fight every day, and it is vital for LGBT individuals and their straight allies to stand up and to pay attention.

27 January 2012

That Old Slippery Slope Argument (VIDEOS)

If we allow gay people to get married, what's to stop us from accepting a man with a horse? A woman and a 10-year-old boy? A man and a rock? A woman with a starfish?

This is an argument we've heard over, and over, and over. 

Many people don't know how to counter the argument at first. Those of us who know gay and lesbian couples can't even fathom how to explain that how love between two people is different from bestiality and pedophilia. I can't quite make the jump that two loving, consenting people marrying each other could lead to these things. To me, the following argument makes about as much sense as the slippery slope argument:

"If we let women vote, the next thing you know we'll all be walking around naked!"

But, many people truly believe that LGBT people put society at risk. So, in a concise manner, I've decided to counter those old ideas that people still believe.
  • If we let men marry men and women marry women, pedophilia, polygamy, bestiality, and people having sex with rocks will come next.

Just like the video mentioned above, marriage and sex is between two consenting adults. Children, animals, and rocks cannot consent to these things. It seems like more of a plateau than slippery slope to me.
  • Children are not safe with LGBTQ people.

Is Cinderella a part of the "straight pedophile movement," then?

Children are just as safe with LGBTQ people as with straight people. LGBTQ people are not more likely to be pedophiles than straight people. We see lesbian and gay couples and immediately think about sexuality... but what we should be thinking about is relationships. We have got to stop thinking about LGBTQ people in different terms than straight people. Really, there isn't as much of a difference as we think.
  • God has punished LGBTQ people with HIV/AIDS.

Being gay does not make a person more susceptible to HIV/AIDS, unsafe sex and dirty needles do. People always complain about the evil "behaviors" of LGBT people. Like I said earlier, straight people can contract HIV/AIDS the same way that gay people can: unsafe sex and dirty needles, or perhaps even a blood transfusion from back before donors were screened.
  • Lesbians and gays should not be allowed to adopt because children need a mother and a father. 
"Mother" and "father" are social roles we have created for ourselves, not necessarily biological ones. This idea comes from the fact that we need to learn our gender roles from our parents. This is such an old idea: would you believe that I learned to cook from my father and my mom pays all the bills? Children need role models for how to become good people, not for how to fulfill old fashioned gender roles. It's more important for a child to have a healthy, happy, loving couple as their parents than for each parent to have different genitalia than the other. There are so many kids who need homes, and so many healthy families that would be willing to give them one. This one is a no brainer for me.
  • LGBT people are unnatural. 

A quick Google search led me to this news article which claims that at least 1500 species "practice" homosexuality in nature. Lesbian and gay people can live many different lives, just like straight people. They may like to go to those stereotypical gay bars (I sure know a lot of straight people like to go to "straight" bars) or they may be in their pajamas by 8 pm.

They may be artists or engineers or accountants or actors, just like straight people. "The gays" make imperfect parents and people, just like "the straights." I'm really tired of pointing fingers talking about "those gay people" like they're some sort of "other."

"They" are, simply put, a part of "us." And it's time we start thinking about it that way.  

We're all people.

Respectfully, and always hopefully,
Jaime J. Coon, Ally

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