Why I Believe Marriage Equality = Common Sense

I am glad to say that by now—nearly a week after Valentine’s Day, 2012, the day  “The Loving Story” aired on HBO—interracial marriage is more accepted in this country than ever.  According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, about one out of every seven new marriages in the U.S. is interracial.  (Which you can read about in this link from GOOD Magazine.)  On that note, I believe it’s time to extend marriage rights to same sex couples.

As the child of a very long and happy interracial marriage, I know that it is possible for two people to have a loving, lasting bond even if there are societal barriers to “their kind” of union.

I believe that a marriage between two people of different races is no less a marriage than one between two people of the same race.

I believe that a marriage between two people of the same sex is no less a marriage than one between two people of different sexes.

If you love and wish to marry someone of a different race, and I love and wish to marry someone of my same race, I do not believe that your marriage in any way undermines my marriage.

If I love and wish to marry someone of a different gender and you love and wish to marry someone of your own gender, I do not believe that your marriage in any way undermines my marriage.

But what about the children?  One reason people used to give (and still give) for opposing interracial marriage was the children.   As in: Think of the children!  Won’t they have issues?  Well, yes we do have issues, just as every other group or combination of groups has issues.  We are also teachers, doctors, lawyers, dancers, writers, husbands, wives, same-sex partners, parents … and—oh yeah—the U.S. president.  We’re doing OK.   As are children of same-sex parents, last I checked.

What about that business about undermining the sanctity of marriage in general? 

I believe that if one couple’s inter-sex marriage is undermined by another couple’s same-sex marriage, then the first marriage wasn’t particularly strong to begin with.  Same-sex marriages don’t undermine marriage any more than same-race marriages do.

What undermines marriage is marrying someone because your publicist told you to.   What undermines marriage is doing it for reality show ratings.  What undermines marriage is infidelity.  What undermines marriage is denigrating other peoples’ marriages when you are supplementing your marriage with extramarital partners.  What undermines marriage is going into it while keeping your options open.  What undermines marriage is violence.

My parents—a black man and a white, Jewish woman—got married in Chicago, Illinois in 1950, eight years before Richard and Mildred Loving wed.  At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in over thirty states.  My parents were married for forty-five years when my father died.  In four and a half decades, their interracial marriage did not threaten the sanctity of anyone’s same-race marriage.   Not even a little bit.

I think it is time to acknowledge that marriage is a loving, committed relationship between two people who love and commit to one another.

6 responses to “Why I Believe Marriage Equality = Common Sense

  1. rebeccanmckinnon

    I found your blog through Lightning Droplets, and I want to like this post so badly, but I can’t find the “like” button. I completely agree with you. My best friend was in an interracial, gay relationship for two and a half years, and you wouldn’t believe the stories he has about the way strangers viewed his relationship, as if it even affected them (it doesn’t!). I honestly believe that more straight marriages undermine the sanctity of marriage, and you don’t see those outlawed! It is a clearly a religious debate, full of intolerance, and I find it disgusting that this represents a large facet of American thought. Keep blogging! It’s great to see intelligent discussion on the Internet.

  2. I love it Lisa. Thank you for writing about it. That is of course taboo in my society, and if a person is known to be just “attracted” to a person of same sex, he or she would go to jail, and would be beaten by authorities to give him a lesson. I was once in a lot of physical pain, and i had to hold my friend’s hand while trying to walk to the doctor. She was extremely embarrassed and people were looking at us in a very weird and disgusted way. You are absolutely right about your definition of marriage, even though i know i am just in a learning process now of accepting differences. I admit i have been raised to be extremist and not to have anything to do with people from other religions, races, etc

  3. Nikky, it takes a strong person to look outside one’s culture, expecially when being different or even accepting differences might be dangerous. I don’t know where you are writing from–but I am guessing that being as open minded as you are takes courage. I admire you!

    Thank you again for your comments and support.

  4. Lisa,
    This is beautiful. Thank you for standing up and sharing your story!

  5. Bravo! We need this clarity and rational thinking to counter bias and misplaced condemnation.

    And why is that a marriage between a black person and a white person draws more ire than that between an Asian person and a white person? What’s with the sliding scale of intolerance? I’m an Asian married to a Caucasian, but when someone sounds off on people who should marry “within their own kind,” they don’t get a free pass from me just because they seem to think mine is less of an “interracial” marriage. I call them on their ridiculous mindset just as indignantly.

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