Saturday, July 2, 2011

Missouri Congresswoman Stuck in 1967, re: Marriage Rights

Republican Congresswoman from Missouri, Vicky Hartzler, told a conservative gathering in D.C. last month that permitting same-sex marriage is akin to permitting polygamy, incest, and three-year-old drivers.  And then she added: 

The government has to set some parameters.

And that's exactly what state after state (and a majority of citizens) said repeatedly, when they defended the states' rights to set parameters prohibiting interracial marriage.  Since, as Virginia judge Leon Bazile stated as he upheld that ban, it stands to reason and is therefore written in natural law that, if God wished the races to mix, He [sic] would not have created black and white folks and then set them in separate parts of the globe.

Along with all of its states rights-adoring sisters of the old Confederacy, Missouri did not permit interracial marriage until a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Loving v. Virginia invalidated state bans on miscegenation  in 1967.

And, believe it or not, opposition to interracial marriage still lingers in the U.S. even today, a half-century following that landmark court decision, particularly among white evangelical Christians, who insist that the government has the right to "set some parameters" that reflect the unique, faith-based views of religious groups, and to impose them on the rest of society qua "religious freedom."  (A view also held by the U.S. Catholic bishops when it comes to same-sex marriage--hence their furor, shared with their evangelical brethren, about enacting legislation that protects "religious freedom" to discriminate against gay citizens, as marriage equality comes down the pike.)

Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac poll hot off the press shows white Catholics approving of Gov. Cuomo in New York in a proportion of 62-22%, following his recent successful championing of marriage equality in New York--this despite the bishops' stalwart resistance to gay marriage, and the National Organization of Marriage's continuing claim that "Catholics" oppose gay marriage. 

H/t to Jim McCrea for sharing the two articles from Christianity Today, and to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog for a link to Capital Tonight re: the Quinnipiac poll.

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