North Carolina House Majority Leader Paul Stam (R) and Minority Whip Rick Glazier (D) debated the proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage in North Carolina at the UNC law school this afternoon. Towards the end of the event, Stam — who supports the measure — suggested that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry would open the door to polygamy and challenged Glazier to respond to his “slippery slope” argument. “Different things can be treated differently if the things or people are in a very different relationship,” Stam said.
Glazier pushed back hard, arguing that gay people are not “things” and they “ought to be treated the same” as anyone else. He countered that the government has “no compelling governmental interest” to deny marriage to a gay couple while allowing two straight people to wed. He then outlined with his own “slippery slope” argument against starting on the path of denying rights to minority groups:
GLAZIER: We engage here in an incredible slippery slope. So if gay folks aren’t allowed — don’t have the fundamental right to do the one thing that as human beings we all want to do, which is to decide who we want to live with, who we want to marry, who we want to have a relationship with. Then explain to me, maybe you should tell the folks, does that mean that they also don’t have the right to public office? That’s a lesser constitutional right to run for public office than it is to decide who you’re going to spend your day with.