A Word In Edgewise: Thin End of the Wedge, You Say?


The elections are a scant five days away; little time is left to discuss the importance of voting NO on the marriage amendment. Consider using that “thin end of the wedge” argument of which the “YES” camp is so fond.

Same-sex marriage, they assert, will be the opening for ever more egregious forms of partners—just as the anti-miscegenation faction asserted until Loving vs. Virginia put paid to that in 1968. Today, shrill the Chicken Littles, allowing same-sex marriage is the thin end of the wedge—gays and lesbians will insist on marrying dog, a duck, Grandma’s set of Limoges china.

Invite your listener to think of a gay friend, or a gay couple they know (if they insist they don’t know any, move on; five days isn’t enough), and imagine that friend actually wanting to marry a pet. Do they truly believe that Fred or Sally, as soon as allowed, would scoop up Fluffy or Fang and run to City Hall for a license?

First, you might remind them, same-sex marriage is already not allowed in Minnesota. Second, both parties in any legal Minnesota contract must be able to enter into said contract—no dogs, no Limoges. From the get-go, therefore, fear mongers have neither a leg to stand on, nor a thin edge to insert. Just hate.

Mix metaphors and suggest the thin end of the wedge is actually on the other foot. If your listener’s religious or secular beliefs are that a significant group of adult Minnesotans are not really full citizens under the law with equal rights, suggest then that the amendment’s passing might well begin a re-examining and re-implementing of other old laws and restrictions that might include them.

Perhaps races shouldn’t intermarry. Perhaps women shouldn’t vote. Silly? Janis Lane, President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, recently told the Jackson Free Press, “Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote,” saying women are too “mean, hateful” and “diabolical” to have the vote.

Ask your listener to consider exactly what thin end of which wedge may be inserted by their YES vote?

You’ve done your job. Perhaps made a difference. Come Tuesday, it’s your turn. Get out and vote. Vote NO. Twice.

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