Wednesday, January 25, 2006

JimJimCrow

A recent court ruling that Maryland's anti-gay marriage law is unconstitutional has the state legislature frothing and drooling. They are now discussing whether we need a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They want the voters to decide.

If the voters in Selma had been asked whether they wanted to desegregate -- the answer would have been NO. If Southern voters had been asked to decide whether they wanted to keep their slaves, the answer would have been YES. We are taking a step back into the era of JIM CROW laws when we ask the comfortable majority to decide whether they want to be more fair to the uncomfortable minority.

We are talking about two consenting adults who want to commit to each other and commit to the notion of family. How can that be bad for society?

sometimes laws have to lead us into uncomfortable territory, to force us to do what is fair and just, even when our natural inclination is to do the opposite. We wouldn't need a law for something if everyone agreed; we have laws to hold us in check against our lesser selves, to be our conscience when conscience fails us.

1 comment:

cl-sandy said...

Since gay marriage has not yet been addressed by the Supreme Court, a state law that bans gay marriage could be challenged that far, and thus perhaps establish that indeed gay marriage is protected under the equal protection clause.

If only we could be so sure of a similar fate for future challenges of Roe v. Wade.