The Australian Christian Lobby regularly expresses their fear at what might happen next if marriage equality advocates succeed in removing gender discrimination from the Marriage Act.
If we remove gender discrimination just because nobody’s been able to present a good reason for it to remain, what else might we remove? The aspects that have good reasons behind them? The number of participants, even though there’s been no proposal put forward to address the problems of consent, oppression, and how to practically regulate polygamous unions? The species of participants, even though there’s no way known for anyone but a human being to express consent? As you can see, the floodgates definitely could open, if we removed indefensible discrimination and then lost our minds and started removing every single aspect of the Marriage Act that actually does have reason behind it.
Imagine the slippery slope if making one change meant we had to make ALL THE CHANGES IMAGINABLE even the ones with serious problems because we suddenly became dribbling idiots.
Anyway, that brings me to my concerns about the Australian Christian Lobby’s new hypothetical allies in their fight against people getting married, the Anti-Marriage Lobby.
Because just like the Polygamy Lobby the ACL keeps imagining, who knows if out there there really is a group of profoundly anti-marriage campaigners determined to stop not just gay people marrying, but everyone. People determined to have the Parliament not just reform the Marriage Act to stop discriminating on the grounds of gender, but repeal it altogether. And this AML is entirely in agreement with the ACL’s opposition to marriage for gay people.
So according to the Slippery Slope logical fallacy to which they’re so firmly attached, what’s next for the ACL?
Well, since they declare marriage a religious institution, the next step would clearly be to ban all secular marriage. Get your own word, atheists! And Since the ACL declares children an essential aspect of marriage, then they must be planning to demand all people intending to marry must prove they are fertile by submitting to tests and be prevented from accessing any sort of contraception, even the ones women take for other medical reasons. Get your own word, childless people! And Since they declare Biblical Marriage the line that must not be crossed, then surely the ACL will next demand the banning of divorce, and any marriage not solemnised by a priest of some ACL-approved Christian sect. Get your own word, other religions!
And then, when the ACL has succeeded in pulling marriage back to Biblical principles (other than polygamy, for some reason), then their allies in the Anti-Marriage Lobby will be there to demand the parliament go further. No marriage at all! The Marriage Act must be repealed entirely! All marriages will be annulled! Including yours!
After we’ve got rid of childless marriage, and atheist marriage, and every other religion’s marriages – then why stop there, the ACL’s AML allies will ask? Why not ban all marriages altogether?
If we’re talking hypothetical imaginary threats to our marriages, then what somebody who believes in the “slippery slope” might guess the Australian Christian Lobby is planning to call for next should terrify us all.
UPDATE: The 76 things banned in Leviticus that the slippery slope tells us the ACL will definitely get to ban if they win against marriage.
ELSEWHERE: This “Christian” wants gay people denied equality before the law. But she doesn’t want you to think she’s not nice.
Fred Clark retorts, “You can’t deny people their rights and be nice about it”:
She says she opposes the civil right of same-sex marriage because her religious beliefs teach that “Homosexuality is not God’s intent for human sexuality.”
OK. But Scott doesn’t believe that, for example, Mormonism is “God’s intent for human spirituality,” and yet she’s not arguing that Mormonism should be illegal. So why is homosexuality different?
Scott can’t say. She seems not to have thought about it. But you mustn’t assume it’s because she’s some kind of hater. That sort of assumption — lumping her in with people like Charles Worley just because she wants the same legal outcome as they do — is hurtful. It wounds her feelings. Being compared to people like that is not nice.
And people should be nice to her, just as she’s being so nice to all the LGBT citizens whose legal equality she wants to nicely deny.
“I’m not asking for anyone to approve or accept my views,” Scott writes, magnanimously.
And it’s true. She doesn’t want anyone else to approve or accept her religious perspective. All she asks is that they allow her to write it into law.
Really, is that so much to ask?
There is no discriminatory but nice. Nor is there different but equal. There is equality, and there is discrimination, and the latter is very far from “nice”.