Friday, June 15, 2007

40 Years of Loving v. Virginia

This is a few days late; the actual Loving anniversary is June 12. It boggles my mind that interracial marriage was illegal in many states right up to two months before I was born. And that still, a couple of days ago, Massachusetts had to fend off a seventeenth attempt at a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage there. Mildred Loving's powerful statement in its entirety is here.

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.

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