Gay marriage isn’t the only type of refused marriage in the news — a Louisiana Justice of the Peace refused to wed an interracial couple. The JP, Keith Bardwell, said his decision was because life was harder for bi-racial children. Things like this are just crazy to me. While children are often a result of marriage, I believe the purpose of marriage is not just TO create children (or to join families, or other past reasons), but as an expression of love. Given changes to the tax code, it’s not even a given that you’ll be ahead of the game when April 15th rolls around anymore if you’re wed. But being wed does grant a lot of other privileges, too — stuff like not being denied to see your dying spouse in the hospital, say. That’s a big one.
Interracial marriage was first allowed by the Supreme Court in the appropriately named case, Loving v. Virginia. Loving has also been citied often as an argument to allow gay marriage. The parallels are clear to me — both groups have been unfairly marginalized in our society (and, I’m not going to lie, both continue to be as well, unfortunately) — and the denying of basic rights appears to be more along the lines of keeping folks down than having any real particular reason.
To me, it shouldn’t matter at all. Love is love, and that’s the most important thing. Love is an infinite good; love cannot be bad. We shouldn’t allow bigotry of any kind to get in the way of any loving couple. Luckily, in this case, the same day, the couple in question was able to leave Justice Bardwell’s office and be married by a different JP. Unfortunately, gay couples don’t have that option — yet. I know the tide is turning; it’s important to help it along.