Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gimme Some Loving

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Loving vs. Virginia that legalized interracial marriage over the protests of more than a dozen states that had anti-miscegenation laws.

It's hard to believe that interracial marriage was actually illegal in some parts of this country (guess which parts!) as late as 1967, but bigotry can be a very powerful force—especially when it's buttressed by religion. Here's Judge Leon Bazile upholding his original ruling against the Lovings in a 1965 decision:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. ... The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Praise Jesus! Funny, though, that the same god who wanted the races kept apart was enthusiastically in favor of white people relocating to the red man's continent and bringing a few million black slaves in tow. Mysterious ways, I guess.

An anniversary like this one is a good opportunity to see how far we've come, not to mention how far we have left to go. I wonder how long until we'll be marking the 40th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage. Will it be 45 years, or 50? Maybe 80 years?

The same bigoted Christianity that gave cover to those who would deny the love between two people of different races is now what stands between homosexuals and equal rights in this country. Every 'religious' argument against gay marriage is but an echo of Judge Bazile's disgraceful justification of racism and intolerance.

One day, we will be embarrassed for the things we said and thought. Will that day be sooner or later?
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