In Light of Loving (and to Enable Loving <3)

(cross-posted on Facebook)

In 1968, one year after the landmark Loving v. Virginia case made any laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, just 20% of Americans supported interracial marriage. It wasn’t until 1991 that a plurality supported it. Most people of my generation can’t even conceive of a time when marriage between a consenting man and a consenting woman of different ethnicities was discriminated against by the state of their residence; twenty years from now, no one will believe the same of love between two consenting women or two consenting men. Our children and grandchildren will not even comprehend the kind of legal structure that provided for such discrimination; while many of us have cried (a lot, at times) in this fight; they will laugh, not even believing us.

In 1967, 20% of Americans believed in equality of ethnicity; today, poll after recent poll shows clear majorities in favor of marriage equality on the basis of sexuality, and an overwhelming 81% (!) majority favoring same-sex marriage rights among women and men under the age of thirty. So, dear Justices of the Supreme Court — even you Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas — don’t lecture the American people about bringing this case to you women and men, or express doubt about hearing it, or about whether we, as a nation are “ready” for marriage equality. Do what your forebears did, despite huge public opposition at the time — opposition you’re not faced with, with a public firmly on the side of marriage equality and only becoming more so — and do the right thing.

In the United States, our Founders established a judiciary coequal with and independent from the legislative and executive branches of government with the express purpose of allowing the federal judiciary to be isolated from the whims of public opinion (oh yes, I’ve read my Federalist Papers). You’re appointed for life, most of you are rarely seen in public except at law school lectures. Do the right thing here, ladies and gentlemen; the only political repercussion you’d ever suffer would be the resounding applause of so many women and men — gay AND straight — who just want equality to be the law of the land.

Addendum: It took another six years (until 1997) for interracial marriage equality to become a majority position. 1997! All statistics courtesy of this piece by Zack Ford at Think Progress.

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~ by Benji on 2 April 2013.

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