Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
It’s Elephant in the Room week. The first I would like to tackle is the “slippery slope.” In 2005 when I was calling your office to ask you to sign AB 849, the 2005 Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, one of your staffers said that “if gays can marry, there’s nothing to stop people from marrying their pets.” I was astonished that anybody would still think this way – but out of respect for their belief, I feel compelled to respectfully crush it.
There are many logical consequences of redefining marriage to accommodate a group, such as polygamy, incestuous marriages, marriages of convenience and human-animal marriage. This would be a concern – if we were redefining marriage.
But we’re not redefining marriage. We are simply ending the special exclusions that have been written into marriage over time, like we did with interfaith couples in 1905 and interracial couples in 1948, and we should do with sexual orientation.
Ever since Ruth and Naomi vowed “until death do us part,” marriage has always been just “an exclusive contractual relationship between two persons.” Pets, minors and multiple people are in no danger of entering into a contractual relationship now or ever.
What is far more dangerous – the real “slippery slope” – is creating the right to exclude groups from marriage. Once we start down this slope, we will quickly be able to ban foreigners, the elderly, prisoners, Protestants and Britney Spears. Some will argue that this might be a good idea, but that is a separate slope and a different discussion.
So you can see that allowing all couples access to marriage is not a march down a slippery slope, but simply the final step toward freedom. I wish you would get on board and support the freedom to marry instead of the right to discriminate.