Loving on loving: Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others

Since the recent changes in the status of same-sex marriage in the states of Iowa and Vermont, and with other states such as Maine and New Hampshire also considering a change, perhaps it’s time to remember that this isn’t the first time America has faced the question of who can marry whom. In the 1920s, the Commonwealth of Virginia was one of several US states that adopted strict eugenics laws. One of those laws in Virginia was the Miscegenation Act, under which all people were registered by race at birth and it was against the law to have sex with or to marry someone of a different race. This wasn’t repealed until 1967, by the US Supreme Court, in the case Loving v. Virginia.

Mildred Delores Jeter Loving, whose Washington DC marriage to Richard Loving resulted in her and her husband being convicted of a felony under the Virginia law, had this to say about marriage in 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the decision that overturned the law:

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. 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. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone, they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. 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’s 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.

Keith Olbermann on proposition 8

I urge everybody who supported California Proposition 8 to watch this comment by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.  It says all that needs to be said, in Keith’s fine baritone.

Keith Olberman’s special comment on Proposition 8

Transcript

Popular support for Connecticut ruling allowing same-sex weddings.

Newsday reports that the University of Connecticut surveyed 502 adults over the weekend for the Hartford Courant on the subject of the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that people are entitled to marry someone of the same sex.  The poll shows 53% in favor of the rulingand 42% against.  Republican voters tend to oppose it and Democrat voters tend to support it.

Connecticut becomes third US state to recognize same-sex marriage

Mirabile dictu!

Reuters reports, October 10, 2008, that the Supreme Court of Connecticut has struck down a state law banning same-sex marriage.  This makes Connecticut the third of three states of the USA that permit couples to marry if they are of the same sex.  The court overturned the rulings of lower courts and recognized that the marriage ban did “cognizable harm” and infringed on a “fundamental right” of same-sex couples.

What a change in forty years: homosexuality

Time Magazine, February 12, 1965 carried an article “Homosexuals Can Be Cured” in which a Doctor Samuel B. Hadden argued that the influence of Freud and the number of homosexuals who believed themselves to be happy that way meant that few cures were attempted.  He worked mainly with men because he had never had enough lesbian “patients”.  At that time the opinion of the psychiatric and psychological establishments was still that homosexual orientation was pathological.

Time Magazine, October 31, 1969 carried another article, “Are Homosexuals Sick?”  The magazine asked eight experts, two of whom were described as “admitted homosexuals”, to a symposium in New York City where they discussed the question.

This debate was very different in tone.  I am struck by the attitude of Rev. Robert Weeks, who spoke of two men of his acquaintance who had been together for many years: ” Both of them are very happy and very much in love. They asked me to bless their marriage, and I am going to do it.”

Which brings us right up to date, really!

Another reason to use Google

FT reports that Google publicly opposes California Proposition 8.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/our-position-on-californias-no-on-8.html

I can’t wait to see the fundies all calling for a boycott and switching their gmail accounts.

New Ecuador constitution may open another chink in anti-abortion South America

Associated Press reports that a vote on the new constitution has passed by a strong margin in the South American republic of Ecuador, despite opposition from the Roman Catholic church.  While the constitution defines life as beginning from conception, it contains wording that opens up very wide chinks in Catholic traditionalism.  The family is recognized  “in its diverse types” and the new constitution guarantees “the right to freely make responsible and informed decisions about one’s health and reproductive life.”

Yes, it has opened the door to abortion and same-sex marriage a little wider.

About bloody time too.