Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004  

Nicholas Kristof really nails the gay marriage issue today. I'm going to quote some choice passages here, but go read it for yourself.

Long before President Bush's call for a "constitutional amendment protecting marriage," Representative Seaborn Roddenberry of Georgia proposed an amendment that he said would uphold the sanctity of marriage.

Mr. Roddenberry's proposed amendment, in December 1912, stated, "Intermarriage between Negroes or persons of color and Caucasians . . . is forever prohibited." He took this action, he said, because some states were permitting marriages that were "abhorrent and repugnant," and he aimed to "exterminate now this debasing, ultrademoralizing, un-American and inhuman leprosy."

"Let this condition go on if you will," Mr. Roddenberry warned. "At some day, perhaps remote, it will be a question always whether or not the solemnizing of matrimony in the North is between two descendants of our Anglo-Saxon fathers and mothers or whether it be of a mixed blood descended from the orangutan-trodden shores of far-off Africa." (His zoology was off: orangutans come from Asia, not Africa.)

In Mr. Bush's call for action last week, he argued that the drastic step of a constitutional amendment is necessary because "marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society." Mr. Roddenberry also worried about the risks ahead: "This slavery of white women to black beasts will bring this nation to a conflict as fatal and as bloody as ever reddened the soil of Virginia."

In the last half-century, there has been a stunning change in racial attitudes. All but nine states banned interracial marriages at one time, and in 1958, a poll found that 96 percent of whites disapproved of marriages between blacks and whites. Yet in 1997, 77 percent approved....

Mr. Bush is an indicator of a similar revolution in views -- toward homosexuality -- but one that is still unfolding. In 1994, Mr. Bush supported a Texas antisodomy law that let the police arrest gays in their own homes. Now the Bushes have gay friends, and Mr. Bush appoints gays to office without worrying that he will turn into a pillar of salt.

Apropos of the news of legalized gay marriage coming from Multnomah County this morning, I think it's worth mentioning that Kristof is an Oregonian (hailing from rural Yamhill County, however).

posted by Jeff | 1:23 PM |
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