Friday, November 7, 2008

"The right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice."

We're all going to go to court now about Prop8. Since it's been passed, the State of California will have to defend it.
The state's lawyers have at their fingertips a long list of precedents upholding such laws....They include arguments about biology, including evidence of declining birth rates and statistics that show high mortality, short life expectancies, and particular diseases among gay Americans. They can polish off their case with the comments of ministers and priests.
About sums up the conservative side, don't you think?

Problem is, this was written about a different marriage case (the unedited quote and source are in the comments). In 1947, in Perez v. Sharp, the California court found in a 4-3 vote that anti-miscegenation laws were illegal in this state.

That's where the quote comes from at the top of this post: from the majority decision in Perez v. Sharp, which was cited in the June decision in re Marriage Cases.

Thanks to activist judges running amok against the will of the people, California was the first state to outlaw anti-miscegenation laws. It took till 1967, 20 years later, for the US Supreme Court to outlaw them nationally, in the landmark Loving v. Virginia. At that time, in 1968, the US electorate was adamantly opposed to interracial marriage. Indeed it wasn't till the 90s that a plurality of people felt interracial marriage was "okay".

Can you imagine what would have happened if Perez had been put on the ballot in California in 1947 right after that case? Or if Loving had been voted on nationally?

Here's what Mildred Loving herself had to say in 2004.
The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God's plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love......

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

6 comments:

IT said...

The actual quote comes from the book Interracialism (Sollers, p. 196)
The state's lawyers had at its fingertips a long list of precedents upholding such laws....They added eugenic arguments about racial biology, including evidence of declining birth rates among "hybrids" and statistitics that showed high mortality, short life expectancies, and particular diseases among African Americans. They polished off their case with the comments of a seemingly sympathetic Roman Catholic priest.

IT said...

Also : Mad priest pointed at this blog which has some good points.

Leslie Littlefield said...

excellent post lynn.

JCF said...

On the subject of self (queer)-critique:

I'm currently looking at a slideshow, of post 8-passage protests.

OCICBW (I'm looking on afar, from Michigan), but did some (too many) California LGBTs/allies wake up, only AFTER Prop H8's passage?

I'd appreciate your take on this, IT. Especially for young LGBTs, was the political work of working against H8 just too boring? Compared to the excitement of screaming against Mormon temples from the streets, now that it's (electorally) too late? I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Yes JCF, you are quite right. Part of it was complacency. But it was also a deliberate strategy of the NO on 8 campaign to keep gay people under wraps which did't break down till the end.

APparently they were worried about the "ick" factor if they showed actual gay couples.

10,000 protesters in San Diego yesterday! 10,000 in the Silverlake district of LA!

Of course given our gay agenda, we had a child's soccer game to attend so were only present at the protest in spirit.

IT

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