What an appropriate story for Valentine’s Day! Last night Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down by Judge Wright Allen:
“Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal. Surely this means all of us,” wrote Wright Allen, an Eastern District of Virginia judge in Norfolk. “While ever vigilant for the wisdom that can come from the voices of our voting public, our courts have never long tolerated the perpetuation of laws rooted in unlawful prejudice. One of the judiciary’s noblest endeavors is to scrutinize law that emerge from such roots.”
In his ruling Allen made a direct comparison between laws discriminating against gays to laws discriminating against racial minorities by citing the landmark case Loving v. Virginia which guaranteed the right of interracial couples to marry (despite the same arguments from religious people employed to defend their discrimination against gay people: moral chaos, bad for children, etc.):
Wright Allen began her opinion with an excerpt from Mildred Loving’s “Loving for All.” Loving, a black woman, was banished from Virginia for marrying a white man.She brought her case to the Supreme Court, leading to the end of state miscegenation laws. The judge concluded with a salute to President Abraham Lincoln:
Almost one hundred and fifty four years ago, as Abraham Lincoln approached the cataclysmic rending of our nation over a struggle for other freedoms, a rending that would take his own life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others, he wrote these words: “It can not have failed to strike you that these men ask for just… the same thing — fairness, and fairness only. This so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.”The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court’s power, they and all others shall have.
From women’s rights to protecting racism by opposing interracial marriage to fighting love because a few ancient tribes didn’t like gay people, Christianity (and religion in general) has served as a moral anchor for humankind, always holding us back and forcing us to drag them into the future, all while jerking themselves off as the defenders of morality. Defenders of privilege and hatred, perhaps, but as far as morality goes we’ve always had to force it on the faithful through long battles for which the religious always later try to take credit.