Posted by Eric Stietzel, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2006 at 9:02 pm
Interratial marriage or miscegenation was banned in California until the law was overturned by the California Supreme Court in 1948. It was not until 1967, however, that laws against interratial marriage were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Go rent a copy of the movie, South Pacific, the musical by Rogers and Hammerstein. The play opened on Broadway in 1949 while miscegenation was still against the law in most places and severely frowned on almost everywhere. A subplot involves the story of a U.S. Marine Lieutenant, Joseph Cable, who falls in love with a native south Pacific island girl named Liat. The romance is, of course, ill-starred and ends when Lieutenant Cable is killed in a crash during an air raid against the Japanese. Before the raid, however, he sings the song, "You Have to Be Carefully Taught", the chorus of which goes like this:
You have to be taught
Before it's too late.
Before you are six or seven or eight
to hate all the people your relatives hate.
You have to be carefully taught.
As for the issue of the threat of gay marriage, my wife and I will have been married 43 years in another 12 days, and we've faced some rocky times, but gay marriage has not threatened our marriage at all. We know three gay couples quite closely, and they contribute far more than average to the community. I warrant the vast majority of people opposed to gay marriage don't know a single gay person let alone a gay couple.
There is no question in my mind that gay marriage will come just as interracial marriage did. Unfortunately it, too, may take far longer than it should. In the past Constitutional amendments have always been used to extend liberty. The Equal Rights Amendment, "Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.", was introduced in Congress every year from 1923 until 1972 when it passed and went to the states for ratification. In the next 10 years, it fell 3 states short of the 38 needed for ratification, and women did not get a Constitutional guarantee of equality, but at least no one has ever tried to pass an amendment saying that there was some right women could never have.
However, I am certain that the rights of women and of gays will be guaranteed in the not to distant future. Hatred cannot persevere in the light of reason and of love.