I made the comparison in my very first blog to the Anti-Miscegenation laws which popped up Nationwide in the 20th Century only to be struck down as unconstitutional in the 1960's. Many of these laws are still on the books, but barred from enforcement in biracial unions due to the Supreme Court's decision.
One of these anti-miscegenation laws was passed in 1913 in Massachuettes (click on title for more info). The law did not ban all biracial marriages in Massachuettes. Instead, it's intent was to ban biracial couples from other states where their marriage was illegal from marrying in MA and then going back home to the state where their marriage was illegal. This was in response to the question of whether or not states that banned biracial marriage had to recognize them when they were legally performed in other states. By banning "outsiders" from marrying, they eliminated the need to ask the question... (All sound familiar???)
So, when MA opened their court houses to same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses, their Gov. Mitt Romney drags up this antiquated anti-miscegenation law and declares that it still is in play. If a marriage is illegal in your home state, then we won't certify it in Massachuettes. Marriage licenses were denied to out of state couples and a lawsuit followed.
Cote-Whitacre et al v. Department of Public Health. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filied a lawsuit challenging the antiquated barrier.
"BY THE COURT.The orders denying the plaintiffs' motions for preliminary injunction in these cases are affirmed. A majority of the Justices also agree that, as to the plaintiffs who reside in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, a judgment for the defendants shall enter in the Superior Court because same-sex marriage is prohibited in those States. As to the New York and Rhode Island plaintiffs, their cases shall proceed in the Superior Court, on an expedited basis, for a determination whether same-sex marriage is prohibited in those States. So ordered."
Read the decision here (choose Opinions button and then choose the Cote case from the list): http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/supremejudicialcourt/.
Yesterday was a sad day for Equality in the United States and a slap in the face to all couples who's love at one time or another in our country was or is the focus of hatred in this country. Using a discriminitory law that was found unconstitutional to justify discrimination against another group is the ultimate in what is sordid about the current discrimination against same-sex couples.
We as Wisconsin residents have a duty to put an end to this attack on our neighbors, friends, family and Americans nationwide by voting NO on the Discrimination Amendment. The message it would send is one that will resonate that Wisconsinites are smarter, more compassionate and more advanced than the rest of the country.
It's a message that will make an immeasurable difference in the direction our country takes - forward or backward into the future!