'Strange bedfellows’ fear still riles'.
Same-sex couples are treated like different-race couples years ago, the author writes. | AP Photo
By ROBERT MCELVAINE | 6/12/12 12:28 AM EDT
In a landmark decision 45 years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared laws banning interracial marriage unconstitutional — in the appropriately named Loving v. Virginia..
Political and religious conservatives in those days were stoking fears about sex and who would to be permitted to have it with whom.
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The more things remain the same, the more they appear to change.
The two most basic axioms of marketing are still “sex sells” and “fear sells.” Conservatives long ago concluded that the political formula most likely to win elections is a combination: “Sexual fears sell best.”
Spreading fears about what some regard as “strange bedfellows” has had a remarkable history. In the 1950s and ‘60s, many on the right complained about the courts undermining society through their liberal rulings. The great threat these people perceived was “intermarriage” – which could lead to what they called the “mongrelization” of the white race.
There is still a market for that sort of sexual fear. Indeed, one suspects, that it is the basis for much of the irrational hatred of President Barack Obama. But today new wine is being sold in the old bottles.
A different category of strange bedfellows is now being peddled on the sexual fear market. The Great Fear roused for political purposes in the mid-20th century was “race mixing.” But in the early 21st century it has been sex un-mixing. What was fear of mixed marriage is now fear of unmixed marriage.
The sort of people who used to denounce the courts still do — but the threat they see to God and country is intramarriage, not intermarriage. The specter then haunting America was different-race couples. Now it is same-sex couples. The current fear about strange bedfellows is that they will be of the same sex—that, sometimes, the bedfellows will both be fellows.
A half-century ago, crossing the color line was intolerable to right-wing Americans. Now, it is not crossing the sex line that is intolerable for them. The former offense got Emmett Till lynched here in Mississippi in 1955. The latter got Matthew Shepard lynched in Wyoming in 1998.
When the Supreme Court struck down miscegenation laws in 1967, 16 states still had laws banning interracial marriages on the books. Today, more than 30 states have statutory or constitutional bans on intrasexual marriages.
“Under our Constitution,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in his opinion for a unanimous court in the Loving case, “the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the state.”
The question today is whether the same constitutional argument should apply to the freedom to marry a person of the same sex.
Two decisions in U.S. Courts of Appeal in the past two weeks, one overturning the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act and the other rejecting California’s 2008 Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, make it likely that the Supreme Court will face that question in its next term.
Call it Loving v. Leviticus.
Five years ago, on the 40th anniversary of the decision that bears her name, Mildred Loving said that the same logic of freedom the court had used in her case should hold for same-sex marriages as for different-race marriages:
“I support the freedom to marry for all,” Loving said,. “That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”
When Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage last month, he identified himself with loving and freedom — not Leviticus and infringement of freedom.
Though the fear of intramarriage may still be sufficient to tip some close elections, polls indicate that its potency is in rapid decline. There are, after all, no worries about “mongrelization” resulting from this sort of union.
The issue is one that exposes the inconsistency of conservatives on matters of government regulation.
Is it surprising that so many people who oppose government regulation of corporate actions simultaneously demand government regulation of the actions of our living corpus?
Many conservatives favor having government leave artificial corporate “persons” free to [insert a metaphor for sexual relations] whomever they want. Yet they favor government regulation of real persons’ freedom to have sexual relations with whomever they want.
In all this, they have it backward. Government has a proper, though limited, role in regulating the activities that go on in boardrooms. But government has no proper role in overseeing activities in bedrooms—or in who loves whom and who is free to marry whom.
Indeed, an easy way to determine whether someone is a conservative or a progressive is to ask two questions:
Bedrooms or boardrooms?
Loving or Leviticus?
To oppose mix race marriage, like Homosexual marriage, has nothing to do with "fear" and everything to do with "disgust"!
Those on the Left try to make out that anyone who dares oppose either one of these social dysfunctions are suffering from some sort of mental illness. When in reality, it's those who promote such things who are going against nature itself, and who are engaging in abnormal behavior!
Those on the Left attempt to make out that these issue are a matter of fairness, equality, and freedom, when actually they are just parts and pieces of a greater agenda of destroying the 'family', thus destroying any sense of cohesion, making it easier for them to gain power over our people.
Many people today look around them today and wonder, how did our present society get to this low point in our nations history?
The answer to that concerns the insidious and incremental actions and events such as 'Gay Marriage', 'Liberal 'Immigration Policies', and the tolerance of 'Mixed Race Marriages'!
Each have been presented and promoted as being a 'good thing', when actually they each represent just another chink in the armor, allowing our enemies to transform, or rather, ruin our nation even further.