Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Marriage, Rights and the Long Arc of Justice

In 1961, Barack Obama was born to an interracial couple, who would not legally have been allowed to marry in many states in the Union -- including Virginia -- because of racist laws.

In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, overturning the will of the people in many states, ruled in the aptly-named Loving v. Virginia that laws banning marriages on racial grounds were unconstitutional.

In 2008, Barack Obama won the Presidency with the electoral votes of, among other states, Virginia, which would have prevented his parents from marrying at the time of his birth.

Also in 2008, the citizens of California decided to enshrine a new bigotry in their constitution, outlawing the marriages of many of its gay and lesbian citizens.

Perhaps one of the children of such a union -- or, indeed, one of those unions just annulled -- will grow up to become President of the United States.

At which time, all of us will see what many of us see now, that the laws just enacted in California in 2008 are precisely as contemptible as those in existence in Virginia in 1961.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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