Any student of history will tell you that history has a knack of repeating itself. So I had a feeling that the arguments against equal marriage would be rather similar to the arguments used against inter-racial marriage. For some odd reason, however, I had failed to research if this was true until recently and even I was shocked to discover that they were not just somewhat similar, they were almost identical. We have all heard these arguments, so I shall go through each one and show how the same argument was used against inter-racial marriage. The quotes are taken from court cases, mainly the two landmark miscegenation court cases: Loving v. Virginia, and Perez v. Sharp.
Same-sex marriage is against god and the bible, and the ever quoted ‘god made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’. ‘Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay 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.’
Same-sex marriages are unnatural and detrimental to society. ‘The amalgamation of the races is not only unnatural, but is always productive of deplorable results. The purity of the public morals, the moral and physical development of both races, and the highest advancement of civilization . . . all require that [the races] should be kept distinctly separate, and that connections and alliances so unnatural should be prohibited by positive law and subject to no evasion.’
Same-sex marriage would lead to the breakdown of western civilisation as it was built upon traditional marriage between a man and a woman. ‘Civilized society has the power of self-preservation, and, marriage being the foundation of such society, most of the states in which the Negro forms an element of any note have enacted laws inhibiting intermarriage between the white and black races.’
The slippery slope argument; by allowing same-sex marriage it will somehow lead to incest, paedophilia, bestiality, polygamy etc. ‘[If interracial couples have a right to marry], all our marriage acts forbidding intermarriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity are void.’
‘The underlying factors that constitute justification for laws against miscegenation closely parallel those which sustain the validity of prohibitions against incest and incestuous marriages.’
‘The State’s prohibition of interracial marriage . . . stands on the same footing as the prohibition ofpolygamous marriage, or incestuous marriage, or the prescription of minimum ages at which people may marry, and the prevention of the marriage of people who are mentally incompetent.’
Same-sex marriage will degrade traditional marriage. ‘Allowing interracial marriages “necessarily involves the degradation” of conventional marriage, an institution that “deserves admiration rather than execration.’
Government has no right to redefine marriage for the rest of the population. ‘[S]uch laws [banning interracial marriage] have been in effect in this country since before our national independence and in this state since our first legislative session. They have never been declared unconstitutional by any court in the land although frequently they have been under attack. It is difficult to see why such laws, valid when enacted and constitutionally enforceable in this state for nearly one hundred years and elsewhere for a much longer period of time, are now unconstitutional under the same constitution.’
Same-sex marriage has detrimental effects on children. ‘It is contended that interracial marriage has adverse effects not only upon the parties thereto but upon their progeny . . . and that the progeny of a marriage between a Negro and a Caucasian suffer not only the stigma of such inferiority but the fear of rejection by members of both races.’
‘Now if the state has an interest in marriage, if it has an interest in maximizing the number of stable marriages and in protecting the progeny of interracial marriages from these problems, then clearly. There is scientific evidence available that is so. It is not infrequent that the children of intermarried parents are referred to not merely as the children of intermarried parents but as the ‘victims’ of intermarried parents and as the ‘martyrs’ of intermarried parents.’
The similarities are uncanny but not surprising when you consider that the arguments against both stem from the same source, irrationality and the religious right. As I said before, history has a habit of repeating itself and it is my feeling that in 50 years people will look upon those making these arguments against same-sex marriage in the same manner we view the racists who made the arguments against inter-racial marriage. So you have to ask yourself, which side of history are you on?