Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

    The right to marry

    Friday, May 16th, 2008

    When the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday to overturn the ban on gay marriage, I was curious to read what the justices would write regarding their decision.

    Because it seems only fair that this nation start recognizing gay marriage as marriage, regardless of whether that term relates to the union between man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman.

    I thought to myself: How is this current resistance that much different from that which existed in the early part of the 20th century and beyond, when it was illegal for a black man and a white woman to marry?

    And, stretching the logic a bit further, I thought: If we perceive marriage between a same-sex couple as a lesser marriage, should we perceive a parent who adopts a child as a lesser parent? Do we not give that mother and her child as equal rights as we’d give a mother who carried her child in her womb?

    Parenting is parenting, the way marriage is marriage — a relationship based on love, which yields to no such barriers as race, gender, class, religion or sexual orientation.

    And so said Chief Justice Ronald George of the California Supreme Court:

    An individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. …Reserving the historic designation of ‘marriage’ exclusively for opposite-sex couples poses at least a serious risk of denying the family relationship of same-sex couples . . . equal dignity and respect.”

    Yes, I thought, marveling over the simplicity of it all. 

    Justice George went on to say that the ruling, which was divided 4-3, was based on California’s 1948 decision to end its ban on interracial marriage. That ruling, to my surprise, was handed down 20 years before the U.S. Supreme court followed suit. I wonder how long it’ll be before homosexuals across the nation can marry and attain the same civil rights as heterosexuals.

    Describing gay marriage as “untraditional” is true. But if we remind ourselves of the past “traditions” of United States, such as slavery, does “untraditional” really sound so bad?

    Sure, change is difficult to follow. But we will neither survive nor succeed unless we accept change, and then adapt to it.

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