"The right to marry, is the right of individuals, not of racial groups." - Judge Roger Traynor, California Judge overturning the interracial marriage ban in 1948.
In the last two weeks California has made news. First for overturning Prop 8 on August 5, 2010 (thumbs way up). Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted to put a stay on gay marriage until the Supreme Court rules (bummer). I hear this will happen quickly. Quickly being December. People are once again in an uproar at the thought of gay men and women having the right to marry. They speak of America losing it's morality. The horror that Americans may have their vote on this proposition overturned. It will destroy our moral fiber, our businesses and ruin our children. I decided to take a look back on America and their thoughts on keeping marriage safe.
In 1664 the first laws banning whites from marrying blacks came about in Mass.
In 1769 the courts ruled that during marriage, the wife's legal and physical rights were suspended and given to her husband.
In 1839 Mississippi allowed women to own property with their husband's permission.
in 1993 all 50 states finally recognized that when women are raped by their husbands it is still rape. The first time it was considered rape was in 1978.
Reading up on American History hasn't really sold me on the idea of marriage benefiting me as a woman. It was kind of like spending any time talking to my dad who is anti-marriage after being divorced for 20 years. Thanks be I was born in an age where I have rights, and am considered equal to my husband. Even typing that made me angry for the women who came before me.
Now for some famous quotes on thoughts of interracial marriage:
"Almighty God created the races, white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." 1967 case of Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia
"No brutality, no infamy, no degradation in all the years of southern slavery, possessed such villainious character and such atrocious qualities as the provision of the laws of Illinois, Massachusetts, and other states which allow the marriage of the negro, Jack Johnson, to a woman of Caucasian strain. [applause]. Gentleman, I offer this resolution ... that the States of the Union may have an opportunity to ratify it. ... Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant to the very principles of Saxon government. It is subversive of social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation a conflict as fatal as ever reddened the soil of Virginia or crimsoned the mountain paths of Pennsylvania. ... Let us uproot and exterminate now this debasing, ultra-demoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy"
-Seaborn Roddenberry US Senator 1912
At some point in our American History it was illegal (and considered immoral and against God's will) for a white person to marry a Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Hawaiian, Filipino, Indian, and anyone considered Non-White. In Arizona in 1942 a section of this law was added to prevent anyone with mixed blood from marrying at all. I am part Choctaw, so that would mean I would get to be spinster for life. It has only been in the last 43-60 years that these laws have been overturned.
I am both glad and saddened this decision is going to the Supreme Court. I have every faith that the court will rule in favor of gay marriage. I am sad that in 2010 we still need the courts to protect the civil rights of the minorities against the fear of the majority.
We have come far in our views of marriage, but I hope that when my children are grown and ready to marry, there won't be interracial marriage, gay marriage, or heterosexual marriage. Just marriage.