Monday, March 01, 2004


Bob Herbert is one of those people who seems to waste too many columns floundering around aimlessly and passionless. But, occasionally, he finds an issue, makes it his own, and provides an eloquent and impassioned voice on it. He's there right now.

I find a special irony in the high level of opposition among blacks to gay marriage.

When the U.S. Supreme Court, in the deliciously titled Loving v. Virginia case, finally ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional, 16 states, including Virginia, still had such laws on the books. That was in 1967, at the height of the war in Vietnam and three years after the Beatles had launched their spectacular assault on American-style rock 'n' roll.

In the Loving case a mixed-race married couple was charged with violating Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. The judge who sentenced the couple wrote:

"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 arrangements there would be no cause for [interracial] marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Now we're told that he doesn't want gays to marry. That there is something unnatural about the whole idea of men marrying men and women marrying women. That it's abhorrent to much of the population, just as interracial marriages were (and to many, still are) abhorrent.

We need to get a grip.