Loving, Loving day, and other civil rights…

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wedding14“It’s not natural.”  “It goes against the Bible.”  “It is not what God intended.”  These are things we hear so often today, but didn’t we hear these very same things just over 40 years ago?  Except then, no one was referring to gay marriages; they were referring to interracial marriages.  Religious people had their reasons, politicians had their reasons, and average citizens had their reasons.  It was toted as some HUGE unnatural sin that would be judged by God, and would bring down society as we know it.

It’s interesting how we are seeing the exact argument today about gay marriages.  How in the world do gay marriages affect straight marriages?  We don’t arrange marriages in America anymore, so why would a stranger think they can decide if any couple can get married?  More importantly, why is the government even putting it up to a vote?  The government didn’t put interracial marriages to a vote because it would have never passed.  It really only effected a small percentage of the entire population.  Very much like gay marriages.  The government had to take upon themselves to decide that citizens’ rights are for all citizens.  That no one else should be able to decided who you can fall in love with, who you can marry, and who you can have children with.

When Eartha Kitt was born in South Carolina under so much controversy and legal issues, he mother had to send her to New York City when she was 8.  Her mother was Black/Cherokee and her father was white.  This is the exact same mix my own daughters are.  In some states in the 50’s and 60’s they could have been taken away from me for being mixed.  My marriage would have been considered illegal, and we would have been put in jail.  It seems crazy now, but it was very serious then.  We all know that black men were killed for touching, talking to, or even looking at white women in the south.  Miscegenation in all of it’s forms was illegal. Even against great opposition, the Supreme Court passed a decision.  The Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967 overturned that stating that race-based legal restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional.

I asked one of my lesbian friends why this issue was so important.  She said that when her lover was sick in the hospital, she was not allowed to be there and the doctors wouldn’t talk to her because she was not related.  Had they been married, there would have been no restrictions.  She said she had a friend once who died in a car accident.  Her parents, who hadn’t talked to her since she came out to them, decided where to bury her, even though she wanted to be cremated, automatically received all of her property and money, and wouldn’t even allow her long-time partner to the funeral.  They had lived together over 10 years.  My friend has lived with the same woman for a very long time.  Her lover has a good job with full-benefits.  My friend owns her own business.  She cannot be under her lover’s health-care plan, and has never been able to have insurance.

I have a lot of gay friends who have children, and I rarely see better parents.  They have a lot of money to provide for everything, and their children are never surprises; they are well-planned for.  And unlike popular myth, being gay does not rub off.  You are born with it.  All my friends “knew” around 3rd or 4th grade.

My issues are always with civil rights and justice.  If it doesn’t affect you, there is no reason you should have a say on how others live their lives.  Every citizen who calls themselves American should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities of that privilege.  We all pay taxes, and we expect paved roads, and good schools for our children, police protection, and all of those other rights and freedoms that most Americans get to enjoy.

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About Ryn Cricket

When I talk to people, I always hear, "I always wanted to do that," or "You're so lucky!" I NEVER want to be the person who says those things. I am not lucky, I make things work. I don't think "I want to do that." I do it. When I was in the seventh grade I wanted to do three things when she grew up, I wanted to be an English teacher, a writer and a mother. All of that traveling, adventure, and Peace Corps was just research for what was to come. After more than twenty years of being told I would never be able to have children, I had two beautiful baby girls, a year and a half apart. I spend some of my time teaching English in Shanghai, China, and the rest of my time, inspiring my two little girls, or being inspired by writing at the writers’ workshop I call “home.”

2 responses »

  1. Interracial marriage as well as gay marriage were propped up by faulty religious beliefs. About the same number of states that have anti-gay marriage laws on the books today, had anti interracial laws on the books prior to 1957. That’s the year the California Supreme Court struck down California’s law. The Supreme Court didn’t step up until 1967, ten years later. It then declared all laws that forbade interracial marriage unconstitutional. Now, 42 years later, people don’t even think about it or remember much about it any longer. It will be the same for gay marriage once the Supreme Court declares laws against it to be unconstitutional. I’m 61 and heterosexual. I hope I live to see it happen.

    • Thank you for understanding and seeing the correlation! I am amazed how this gets lost on people and they don’t see the comparison. I appreciate your comment, and I like you, hope to see everyone be able to have the same rights before I die.

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