10/14/2005

Shameless Plug

A shameless plug for an excellent organization. This was an interview in Mother Jones with Evan Wolfson who is Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, perhaps one of the largest, if not THE largest, gay rights organizations on that issue.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/2005/10/evan_wolfson.html

I highly recommend reading the interview, checking out his book, and/or going to the Freedom to Marry website (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/). If you ever have to engage anyone in the discussion of what Evan calls the case for “ending same-sex couples’ exclusion from marriage”, not "gay marriage," then all of these should be helpful.

A couple of historical tidbits from the interview:

MJ: Your book notes that acceptance of the verdict in Brown v. Board of Education really took decades. Won’t the public’s acceptance of same-sex marriage take just as long?

EW: When the Supreme Court struck down race discrimination in marriage in 1967—in the best-named case ever, Loving v. Virginia—the polls showed 70 percent of the American people opposed interracial marriage. In fact it was not until 1992 that a majority of the American people expressed a majority acceptance for interracial marriage. From this, we learn that courts, leaders, and civil rights advances don’t wait for the polls in our system. We don’t have to have majority support for some states, some courts, some politicians to stand up and do the right thing. Full majority public acceptance of a major civil rights change—whether it be ending race discrimination or some of the other things I’ve talked about—may indeed come after the legal changes, and after by quite some time.


...

MJ: Yet the governor of Massachusetts says he supports a constitutional amendment against marriage equality, and in the 2004 elections 11 states passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage—

EW: No, no, no. Most of those 11 states were not just banning marriage, they passed sweeping anti-gay measures. They deny any level of protection to gay families, large or small. Virtually all of those states are solidly Republican, have never led the country in any civil rights struggle, and would have passed pretty much any anti-gay measure that had been put on the ballot. In this case, it happened to be marriage and family relationships. This was a right-wing wave of attacks.

In this stampede against gay people wrapped in the hot button of marriage, the right wing was smuggling in their sweeping anti-gay, anti-unmarried heterosexual agenda. In Ohio, for example, two courts have now ruled that the sweeping discriminatory measure there block the issuance of domestic violence orders of protection to anybody other than a married couple. So women living with abusive men that they’re not married to can’t get an order of protection because of this measure. Again, that was part of the right-wing agenda because they’re agenda is not just anti-gay and anti-marriage, it’s anti-choice, anti-civil rights, anti-separation of church and state, and in fact antediluvian.

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