12 June 2007

Marriage Equality, 40 years later

Forty years ago today, the final barrier to interracial marriages in the US was thrown out in the US Supreme Court, in the decision Loving v. Virginia. At that time, 70% of the American public opposed interracial marriages, and sixteen states, including Virginia, banned them outright. (When California became the first state to allow interracial marriages, the opposition stood at 90%.) But this was a decision that was based on fair application of basic constitutional rights to everyone, not a popularity contest or a religious dogma.

There are many parallels to the current gay marriage battle. In fact, in a rare show of solidarity, ethnic and gay organizations have come together to celebrate the Loving decision, and to plot the course of action in the gay marriage battle.

With the gay marriage debate, there is one more hurdle to overcome; the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act allows individual states to refuse to recognize out-of-state valid gay marriages, and so far, most states have done so, including the once-pioneering California, thanks to the Republican exploitation of Third World immigrants' homophobia.

More information below:
Freedom to Marry