Separate, as we know, is not equal

I recently saw “Married and Counting”, a documentary about two men who, to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a couple, were married in every state in which same-sex marriages are legal.

By approving Referendum 74, we have the opportunity to join those states. Opponents argue that allowing same-sex marriages will redefine marriage, and is unnecessary because gay couples in our state have legal equality. Marriage, however, is constantly evolving; from its roots as a property arrangement to a wife’s vow to obey her husband. Arguing that civil unions are adequate ignore the fundamental truth set forth by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren in declaring segregated schools unconstitutional: separate is inherently unequal. Chief Warren persuaded his fellow justices that the only reason to sustain segregation was an inherent belief in the inferiority of blacks.

Contrary to the Voter’s Pamphlet statement that “being opposed to same-sex marriage doesn’t mean you dislike gays and lesbians,” the same truth applies: the only reason to exclude gay couples from marriage is an inherent belief that homosexuality is perverse. You have the right to such beliefs, but no right to deny constitutionally-guaranteed civil rights to same-sex couples, or blacks, or women.

Debra Schilling