Yes, There Is a Slippery Slope on Gay Marriage
People may scoff at such concerns and dismiss the slope. Not long ago, the very idea of marriage between two men seemed just as ludicrous and unlikely. Times have changed, as the court noted. It extended the right to marry to two people of the same sex, but expressly excluded polygamous and incestuous relationships:
We emphasize that our conclusion that the constitutional right to marry properly must be interpreted to apply to gay individuals and gay couples does not mean that this constitutional right similarly must be understood to extend to polygamous or incestuous relationships.
On what grounds? The court stated that its past "judicial decisions explain why our nation's culture has considered [polygamous or incestuous relationships] inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry."
Hasn't our nation's culture considered homosexual relationships in the past also to be "inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry"? What's changed?
Although the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay individuals and gay couples clearly is no longer constitutionally permissible, the state continues to have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of their potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment.
So a heterosexual marriage between two closely related individuals is "potentially detrimental" to a family, but marriage between two men is not? In what way? Why should marriage be limited to only two people? Once the "a man and a woman" limitation is done away with, how could a state prevent three people from marrying? What about the bisexual who wants to be married to a man and a woman or the NAMBLA freak who wants to marry a "consenting" minor? Isn't denying them "marriage" discrimination, an equal protection violation?
The state's highest court affirmed a strict scrutiny standard for sexual orientation. Should you decide to sleep with someone of the same sex, face discrimination because of it, and sue in California, a court will consider your sex life equivalent to skin color! If a court can conclude that sexual orientation is a suspect classification, why can't it conclude the same about incestuous relationships?
Dismiss it, if you must. Be offended, if you choose. Send hate mail, if you're inclined. But allowing two people of the same sex to declare themselves "married" renders the whole institution meaningless and opens the door to legally recognizing other "inimical" relationships. Perhaps 10 years from now, those cases will make headlines.