11 January, 2006

Gays and Blacks Together Again

We find, in our public service, a blog post. It is not a very good post, oh no. It lacks all justification and reference, it rambles, it makes things up. It is in short a creature of darkness. But it is comprehensive enough that I can use it to discuss things.

I’ll begin with a simple statement: gay marriage is not the same as the civil rights movement.

English is a frigid mistress, her calloused fingers pushing our groping hands forever from comprehensibility! An auspicious start. Onward!

To those of you who would boggle at my ignorance

Never, sir! Allow me to assert most passionately that I accord respect and dignity (as persons as persons,) to all my fellow travellers.

To say that the civil rights movement fundamentally altered our concept of marriage is probably only half true. It eliminated systematic prejudices against blacks. It beat home the realization that blacks and whites were (gasp) equal in all ways

Ah, the conclusion comes before the argument, forcing me to spoil a surprise 40 years in the making. No, anti-miscegenation laws were reversed because marriage was regarded as a fundamental human right that should not be denied anyone on as baseless and necessarily discriminatory a premise as ethnicity, an argument with no relevence to anything occuring today:

...the Court has merely asked whether there is any rational foundation for the discriminations, and has deferred to the wisdom of the state legislatures. In the case at bar, however, we deal with statutes containing racial classifications, and the fact of equal application does not immunize the statute from the very heavy burden of justification which the Fourteenth Amendment has traditionally required of state statutes drawn according to race.


Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

-Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren (1967)

Pesky facts! And as dear Matt asserts, has the civil rights movement 'beat home the realization that blacks and whites were (gasp) equal in all ways'? To borrow a phrase from a conservative humour site, Sadly, No!

Alabama voters on Tuesday repealed the state's century-old ban against interracial marriage, an unenforceable but embarrassing throwback to the state's segregationist past.

The vote was running 59 percent to 41 percent, with 58 percent of the voted counted.


Alabama became the last state with such language in its organic law in 1998 when South Carolina voters approved a measure to remove similar wording from their state's constitution. In South Carolina, about 62 percent of voters favored lifting the ban.
-Sweet, sweet victory.

But I’m not sure that peoples’ basic perceptions of marriage were changed.

I'm absolutely positive that they didn't.

Only, instead, our perceptions of equality. I do not think there was a mental addendum to marriage in our minds that said “only people who are the same may marry.”

Indeed; could any such belief even genuinely exist? What sort of sordid, disgusting, primitivist philosophy could even serve to justify such a ridiculous and vacuous idea?

An Act To Preserve Racial Integrity
-Racial Integrity Act of 1924

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

-Virginia's Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Trial judge Leon Bazile (1959)

I think there was an addendum in our minds that said, “since races are not equal, we should marry only inside our own.”

It may have occurred to one or two people.

Intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant. It is subversive to social peace. It is destructive of moral supremacy, and ultimately this slavery to black beasts will bring this nation to a fatal conflict.

-Georgia's Democratic Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry (1911)

This is a hard argument to prove,

So why bother trying, right?

marriage, to me, is an institution which is both simplistic and purposeful. Its purpose is as a structural unit of society, a building block for the family, and for some a special tenant of their religion.

That can't be its full purpose, surely? Marriage can also be used as a political tool: for instance you can use it to deny rights and financial benefits to people whom your prejudices regard as subhuman.

Therefore, I think it is actually much harder to argue that people specifically defined marriage as “between the same race,” and that it was more likely they defined other races as “fundamentally different/separated/inferior,”

This absolutely floored me. He had spent the entire first half of the post arguing that anti-miscegenation laws were expressions of the belief that other races were inferior, and had nothing to do with asserting that marriage should only occur between people of the same race.

I do not think there was a mental addendum to marriage in our minds that said “only people who are the same may marry. [...] I think there was an addendum in our minds that said, “since races are not equal, we should marry only inside our own.

And now we learn that 'it was more likely they defined other races as “fundamentally different/separated/inferior”. So rather than anyone trying to keep the right of marriage purely for people who were the same, it was intended to keep everyone who was different out.

and in a conservative age, would have avoided and abhorred bi-racial marriages even more than I would avoid marrying, say, a biker chick named Wanda with a bull-ring in her nose.

English! My love! NO!

What I’m saying and what most conservatives would tell you is that marriage in its essence and as it should be never changed through the civil rights movement.

No, instead activist liberal judges argued that the government couldn't keep people with different ethnicities from marrying because marriage is a fundamental human right.

Black is white, white is black, we’re all the same underneath. However, this is not a change which can occur for the debate on gay marriages.

Agreed, women are inferior.

But marriage is and has always been defined* by man and wife.

Science and history disagree. Alas, mighty Belgium, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands have fallen for such despicable reality, and many countries have crafted civil partnerships with many or all of the rights of marriage. The end of marriage as we knew it ensued, and men all over the lands have fallen out of love with their wives. Even precious Britain – bulwark of tradition and throbbing Imperial pride, has allowed civil partnerships with most of the rights of marriage. Already I can feel the icy grip of homosexuality clawing at my masculinity, drowning out my affection for all things poontang.

So anyway, man and wife. Yeah. That’s, you know, one of those kind’ve important things about marriage.

Well argued!

Let me give you another one: between people.

Indeed, there is no difference between dolphins marrying people and homosexuals marrying. I hope to God that whatever it is keeping Senator Santorum from buying a dog keeps this man from ever owning a dolphin.

That’s the problem with this “natural/unnatural” debate

No, the problem with the 'natural/unnatural' debate is that everything we can observe and empirically test in the universe is natural, including polyester and air conditioning. The unnatural is beyond science and evidence; there is no way of showing that there is any evidence supporting its reality at all. Now, any guesses as to why predicating law on the latter might cause a few problems?

Out of sheer self control I will ignore his incompetent rendition of evolution as 'random chance' and the sycophantry he heaps upon John Paul II.

But obviously the sexual commandments of the Bible were not “lifted” in the same way, but strengthened in –their- fulfillment.
Indeed, and I for one am sick of the secular war on polygamy.

Behavior is (duh) complex.

The closest thing to a true and noncontradictory statement in the entire piece.

And now, a closing comment.

If marriage is regarded as an important institution and one we feel necessary to society as a whole then we should ask ourselves why this is so.

Many would point to the family unit and the way in which marriage forms a somewhat stable platform to raise children by placing social and financial entanglements on a couple, thereby enforcing something of a commitment and using that commitment as a context for childrens' upbringing. I think that this is important and I think it is
largely true.

If this were the only factor, however, the only justification for sterile couples to marry would be in the event that they wished to adopt - and yet such an idea blatantly isn't enforced, I sincerely doubt anyone would want it enforced, and it would legitimise same-sex marriages anyway. Clearly the further fundamental belief in the importance of marriage is in allowing a loving couple to support each other, to support their interdependency, particularly important as single people are particularly vulnerable to the whims of the market and the economy.

Again, I think this is important for social stability. Again, I fail to see how this would take homosexuals out of the picture, or even any other couple, regardless of whether there's any sexual element to the relationship. I sincerely doubt anyone would want sex to be forced upon married couples; I also see no reason for this to be so. Security and stability seem the only consistent reasons for marriage and are the only reasons I can see why the state should be involved at all in the first place - without a secular justification it deserves no special perks from the state.

The fact that homosexuals are fighting for the right of marriage indicates a desire for them to strengthen such stability by opting to take on the burdens of marriage aswell as the benefits for their relationship, standing in contrast to straight people who are ruining marriage with cheating, rising numbers of single parent families and ridiculously spiralling divorce rates, themselves perverting what marriage should stand for and of the family unit.

The idea that couples should be excluded because they share a gender, and that this is a massive focus of people claiming to protect marriage, seems a further degredation to the notion of the strong unions that marriage should provide and which it should represent; the secular arguments provided by traditionalists seem to make a mockery of marriage, turning it into some semantic issue deliberately intended to segregate rather than protect the importance of the institution or why it should be implemented. Secular reasons for why same gender couples should be excluded are never explained beyond 'they're gay and marriage is between a man and a woman'. Such an explanation is unsatisfactory and merely repeats the question, why should marriage only be between a man and a woman?

I also like The Two Percent Company's The Score take on marriage-as-a-contract, a somewhat different approach from mine and exceedingly reasonable and rational.

A response! Will our intrepid hero wade into battle against the NRO and Weekly Standard, fortresses of fact telling? Will he suddenly realise that demolishing someone repeatedly with a blog feels like duelling with a chest of drawers? Stay tuned to find out!

-The Rev. Schmitt.


Pinko Punko said...


The Reverend Schmitt., FCD. said...

Serious business!

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm Gavin or Brad, and it's fun picking on the absolute crazies but getting into these tight dresses and high heels plays havoc with my back.

Anonymous said...

I never knew I was an "absolute" or a "crazy" until now. Though I am compared to which side of the world you sit on, I suppose. Still, I enjoyed the attention, and my response is up, back on my Tabby.

Thanks for the workout. I enjoyed your links especially, and the humor is a razor's edge.

Till later,

Pinko Punko said...

I think you did a great job. Matto is a tought nut to crack, a budding Jonah G. He linked to Stanley Kurtz. Yikes!

Chuckles said...

Well done.