Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #903 - Slippery Slopes

I'd actually written and prepped most of this comic before Maryland held its debate on the gay marriage bill on Friday, but considering how it turned out (and considering I'm currently living here), it feels appropriate to get this one posted today.

There were a lot of positives that could be taken out of the debate, even by those of us who supported it and even though it failed. First, when I was listening to the debate, there were very few people planning on voting against it who got up and spoke. Secondly, those who did often did not cite religious arguments - considering this is a country founded on freedom of religion, that's certainly a factor to take some comfort in. Thirdly, there were a number of people who spoke in favor of the bill who recognized they would take heat from their family and constituents for their vote - and they didn't care.

Look, some day, everyone is going to have to look back on this issue and explain to the youth of the future why it took us so frickin' long. And certainly, we can blame some of it on organizations like NOM, whose published talking points provided some of the initial slippery slope arguments in the flowchart. In the meantime, though? We can have rational arguments about it from opposing sides. And slippery slope arguments? THEY DON'T HOLD UP. Yes, some of the arguments above are ridiculous, but some of them? Shouldn't there be answers to them, too? Like one delegate said during the debate the other day: "Some people say if this bill passes, I will someday be able to marry a toaster, an android, or a cat. (This argument) sickens me." Because that argument completely ignores the perfectly fine counterpoint regarding consent. And such counterpoints are certainly not worse than the pro-sanctity-of-marriage counterpoints against divorce, right?

In the meantime, I'm going to take heart in the speech on Friday by delegate Anne Healey (paraphrased): "I am going to make many constituents, friends and family who supported me for years disappointed in me. But I have not heard one legislative argument against this bill. I believe I must vote (for this bill)." Gay marriage for everyone will happen someday soon. Let's get to debating it rationally so we can get to that day sooner. Agreed?