Friday, February 27, 2004

This whole gay marriage controversy is simply ridiculous. Sedalina has one of the better takes on the topic (as well as some particularly ignorant feedback from readers), and also led me to do to a little Googling to find the following:

An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity

5. It shall hereafter be unlawful for any white person in this State to marry any save a white person, or a person with no other admixture of blood than white and American Indian. For the purpose of this act, the term "white person" shall apply only to the person who has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian; but persons who have one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian and have no other non-Caucasic blood shall be deemed to be white persons. All laws heretofore passed and now in effect regarding the intermarriage of white and colored persons shall apply to marriages prohibited by this act.

from the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924

Eugenic Laws Against Race Mixing
Paul Lombardo, University of Virginia

By 1915, twenty-eight states made marriages between "Negroes and white persons" invalid; six states included this prohibition in their constitutions...

The 1958 case of Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia initiated a challenge that would eventually overturn the law... By unanimous decision, in 1967 the [United States Supreme] Court struck down the Racial Integrity Act and similar laws of fifteen other states, saying: "[T]here can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause... Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state."

from the Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement

equal protection: an overview

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. In other words, the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances...

The equal protection clause is not intended to provide "equality" among individuals or classes but only "equal application" of the laws. The result, therefore, of a law is not relevant so long as there is no discrimination in its application. By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights.

from the Legal Information Institute
A lot of this country's past disgusts me. So does a lot of its present. Especially when it starts to mirror things from our ugly past that you'd think we'd have learned something from.

Gay marriage should be a "duh!" issue. (Just like the ERA should be.) That it's causing this much of a stir should be an alarming wake-up call for anyone that believes "things aren't that bad."

  Then they came for me,

and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

--Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
We have the right to remain silent, and the obligation to speak.

The final excerpt on the 14th Ammendment shoots to hell the whole idea of letting states decide who can marry whom, as well as letting them decide to not honor a marriage licensed in another state. Kerry and Edwards are both scumbags for hiding behind that copout and with that realization, I've changed my mind about waiting for the results of Sunday's debate and am officially swinging my support back to Kucinich.

Fuck pragmatism. If Bush gets another four years, we deserve what's coming to us.

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
--George Bernard Shaw

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