Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO) is taking some heat after some controversial comments she made during a speech to The Eagle Forum, a right-leaning organization that encourages college students to stand up for conservative values on campus.
In addressing her opposition to gay marriage, Hartzler used the "slippery slope argument." If you're unfamiliar with this debate mechanism, allow me to recap: This is a classic form of argument in which a small or medium-sized first step (in this case legalizing gay marriage) has the potential to lead to a chain of related events . In the end, there is a significant alteration or "effect" as a result of the initial change (i.e. a loss of morality in America).
In analyzing video of Hartzler's speech, Right Wing Watch claims that she made some egregious comparisons:
...Hartzler compared gay marriage to polygamy and incest, and later argued that we shouldn’t give equal marriage rights to gay couples just as “it’s not a right of a three-year old to drive a car.”
Other outlets have mirrored this charge. While some may argue that Hartzler's comments were outrageous or over-the-top, they were not necessarily direct comparisons. Instead, it seems she was employing a common debate tool (the slippery slope) rather than directly paralleling the legalization of same-sex marriage with polygamy, incest and other similar behaviors. At one point she explains that legalizing gay marriage could lead America down a road in which a marriage license means nothing. This "road" she refers to is the "slippery slope."
Disagreeing with her is one thing, but claiming she made direct comparisons isn't exactly accurate. Watch a clip of Hartzler's address below and tell us what you think: