Editorial: Time for equality

Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in Opinion

Editorial: Time for equality

Forty-five years ago last week, a couple named Loving had their marriage vindicated in the Supreme Court.

The issue then was that Mildred Loving was African-American; her husband, Richard, was not. They were actually arrested in Virginia, where miscegenation — interracial marriage — was illegal. 

The Supreme Court decision that bears their uniquely appropriate name (Loving v. Virginia) ended marriage discrimination for everyone, with one exception.

The reason why gay marriage wasn't legalized in 1967 along with all other adult marriages was that sodomy was a crime in 36 states. And prurient minds, assuming that marriage is all about sex, couldn't conceive of a marriage of true minds between gay or lesbian couples.

The sodomy restriction fell in 2003, in another landmark Supreme Court decision, called Lawrence v. Texas. 

So by now, gays and lesbians should share the equal protections guaranteed to every other American under the law.

That they do not yet share those protections in marriage and family law is discrimination, pure and simple. It is a function of society's discomfort, rather than any higher purpose, no matter how it is being framed by those who want to keep gay families silent and invisible.

Maine has an opportunity to lead in November. While the ultimate issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, for now, we can demonstrate that Mainers share the priniciples of fairness and equality for all Maine citizens.

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