Why the Ugly Rhetoric Against Gay Marriage Is Familiar to this Historian of MiscegenationAlso... A little more basic facts on the origins of the Marriage License in the USA and the main reasons for its origins: BIGOTS & RACISM.
By Peggy Pascoe
Ms. Pascoe is Associate Professor and Beekman Chair of Northwest and Pacific History at the University of Oregon. She is completing a book on the significance of miscegenation law in United States history.
We are in the midst of an attempt to ground a category of discrimination in the fundamental social bedrock of marriage law. I would argue that it is virtually impossible to understand the current debate over same-sex marriage without first understanding the history of American miscegenation laws and the long legal fight against them, if only because both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage come to this debate, knowing or unknowingly, wielding rhetorical tools forged during the history of miscegenation law. The arguments white supremacists used to justify for miscegenation laws--that interracial marriages were contrary to God's will or somehow unnatural--are echoed today by the most conservative opponents of same-sex marriage. And supporters of same-sex marriage base their cases on the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, echoing the position the U.S. Supreme Court took when it declared miscegenation laws unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia. Both sides confront the structures of marriage law exclusion that were also forged during the history of miscegenation, including, as I show below, the legal maneuvering over the seemingly minor bureaucratic practice of issuing marriage licenses.
A Brief History of Miscegenation Laws (continue reading)
Declarations Of Pride has a great piece up on this subject, from a very personal point of view, that includes some really good observations:
Yet, so many don't understand that rights in America are to be universal; guaranteed to every citizen under the law. Equal under the law is the other way it is expressed. Somewhere along our journey a percentage of Americans got confused, brainwashed, left-behind, whatever...And began to think of marriage as a religious doctrine not a civil construct. This misunderstanding of the nature of marriage is what has gotten us to this point.
Now, combine our need for salvation with our hate for things we don't' understand, and you have a straightforward American debate; rooted in puritanical history, conflated by individual moral superiority. This is a classic cycle we have played out over and over in our history. Whenever we are afraid of something or someone we don't understand we isolate them. Americans are not the fair-minded individuals they always claim to be. There is always some class of people unworthy of what the others have. We have lost our way, and that is why I speak on this so much.
Consider this: Marriage gets to party at the church. It gets a dress. It gets guests in pews. When the party is over, people will turn to God for guidance, but they turn to the state for a divorce!
To review; you come to the government to get married, and you go to the state to legally dissolve your marriage. You may go to church in between to help you nurture a loving relationship, but that is about as far as the relationship between faith and marriage goes.