May 17, 2004

Two Stories And One Lesson

by Chris Geidner

Human blood may stain Southern soil in many places because of this decision but the dark red stains of that blood will be on the marble steps of the United States Supreme Court building.

This quote comes from the 50-year-old editorial from the Jackson, Mississippi Daily News reacting to the opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, decided 50 years ago today. (For more on the anniversary, see The Washington Post here and Justice Breyer's NYTimes op-ed here.)

* * *

Traditional marriage has been dealt a severe blow beginning with so-called legalized homosexual 'marriages' tomorrow in the state of Massachusetts, an abomination which must not be allowed to continue.

So proclaimed the Christian Coalition president yesterday in the organization's news release about the "Abomination in Massachusetts." (See today's Boston Globe -- lead story, "Free to marry" -- for more about the Massachusetts marriages.)

* * *

As he does it so beautifully, I will let Andrew Sullivan write for me:

Today is the day that gay citizens in this country cross a milestone of equality. Gay couples will be married in Massachusetts their love and commitment and responsibility fully cherished for the first time by the society they belong to. It is also, amazingly enough, the day of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruling that ended racial segregation in schools across America. We should be wary of facile comparisons. The long march of African-Americans to civil equality was and is deeply different from the experience and legacy of gay Americans. But in one respect, the date is fitting, for both Brown and this new day revolve around a single, simple and yet deeply elusive idea: integration.

. . . Today is not the day "gay marriage" arrives in America. Today is the first time that civil marriage has stopped excluding homosexual members of our own families. These are not "gay marriages." They are marriages. What these couples are affirming is not something new; it is as old as humanity itself. What has ended in one state, at least is separatism. . . .

It is a private moment and a public one. And it represents, just as Brown did in a different way, the hope of a humanity that doesn't separate one soul from another and a polity that doesn't divide one citizen from another. It is integration made real, a love finally come home: after centuries of pain and stigma, the "happiest day of our lives."

Thank you, Andrew.

[UPDATE: A reason to miss our old co-blogger, Unlearned Hand, on this day. Thank you.]

May 17, 2004 07:52 AM | TrackBack
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