Civil Rights Schmival Rights

I am self-aware enough to know that the only reason anyone comes to this blog is to see cute pictures of my perfect son, however since we live in California, I feel I must do a quick post on what has been happening in this state over the past few months.  For those of you who don’t care about my political views (which is most likely everyone) feel free to scroll to the bottom of this post where you will find many cute pictures of Aiman!  

California has lots of problems … swine flu … potential bankruptcy … failing schools … draught … strikes … and its cold today (what the eff – its Southern California for crying out loud – its meant to be warm all the time!)  With all of these problems, you would think that the California voters could spend their time worrying about something other than whether the gays are destroying marriage by … gasp … getting married!  But apparently I have over-estimated my fellow Californians.  

As most everyone knows, the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage not to long ago.  A bunch of gay couples got married and the world stopped spinning on its axis and storm clouds began to gather!  Then, the wonderful, caring, loving, Christian folks over at the Church of Latter Day Saints came to the obvious conclusion (note sarcasm here) that gay marriage was destroying America and invested millions of dollars to put a proposition on the ballot which would amend the California Constitution to make it unconstitutional for gays to marry – did you get that – they proposed a Constitutional amendment to take rights away from a specific group of people.   Constitutional amendments to take rights away are generally a bad idea.  Anyone remember prohibition – well probably no one who reads this blog remembers it, but we all know how well that little experiment worked out.  Unfortunately the California voters, in their infinite wisdom, voted to amend the Constitution and with that vote, the rights of gays to marry was taken away.  The legality of the Proposition was challenged to the California Supreme Court and it was, not surprisingly, upheld.  So now we are left with a Constitution with this lovely sentence contained within its hallowed verbage:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Awesome.  

Did you all know that until 1967 it was illegal for a white person to marry a black person in fifteen states and it was illegal in 14 other states up until the 50’s and 60’s.  That means that only 40 years ago, it would have been illegal in nearly half the states for this to have happened:

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In fact, in most states it was a felony, punishable by up to one year in prison.  (Yes … even in California, whose laws banned interracial marriage up until 1948.) 

You know what it took to finally wipe those laws off the books?  You guessed it, a group of 9 ACTIVIST judges on the U.S. Supreme Court deciding that it was violation of the U.S. Constitution to deny two people, the Lovings, the right to marry based on their race.  The Lovings were a black woman and a white man who got married in Washington D.C. (which did not have an anti-miscegination law) and moved to Virginia (which did).  The Lovings were arrested in their bedroom for living as an interracial couple.  The state court judge that upheld their conviction argued: 

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents.  And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages.  The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Classy … and somehow vaguely reminiscent of the religion based arguments people make against homosexuality today.

A unanimous Supreme Court overturned the Virginia state court and, in so doing, invalidated all anti-miscegination laws.  The Court found:

“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 to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Marriage is a basic civil right huh?  Well then obviously gays must have that right too, right??  Right??  Bueller …?  Apparently not.  

Side Note:  I’ve always loved that the couple that finally got those interracial marriage laws overturned were named the “Lovings.”  I think it highly likely that the NAACP waited for a couple with the perfect name to challenge those laws.  What could be better than the “Lovings?”  It also reminds me of my college crush, his name was Matt Bliss.  I thought … how can I go wrong with a boyfriend with the last name “Bliss.”  I couldn’t!  Unfortunately he did not feel the same way about the “Herseys” of the world.  I’m not sure he knew I existed.  

That Californians would vote to strip rights away from a minority is sad, but not surprising.  In fact, in doing a little research about the history of anti-miscegenation laws, I learned that two states, South Carolina and Alabama still had language in their constitutions prohibiting interracial marriage until 1998 and 2000 respectively.  It took a vote to remove that language, a vote that passed by 62% in South Carolina and 59% in Alabama – which means that 40% of the people in the year 2000 still believed that there should be language in the Constitution banning interracial marriage.  That’s why decisions like these cannot be left to the people.  The people are bigoted A-Holes. 

So there you have it.  I am completely sickened by what has happened in California and I can only hope that we  get another group of activist judges/legislators/politicians together soon to put an end to this state-sponsored discrimination.  Besides, if it weren’t for activist judges, you would not have this:

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And, therefore, you probably would not have this: 

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3 Responses to Civil Rights Schmival Rights

  1. Blue_in_AK says:

    You knocked it out of the ballpark, Kristina. Good job!

  2. Buffy says:

    Amazing post, and you have a beautiful family. Bravo!

  3. Pingback: Stand back … | From Alaska to Australia

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