Ive heard that my letter below was published in todays Opelika-Auburn News; I havent seen a copy yet so I dont know whether they cut anything.
To the Editor:
The arguments one hears nowadays against treating gays like human beings all seem to be recycled from the arguments 150 years ago against treating women like human beings.
In the 19th century, a married woman had no legal right to control her own property, to have access to her own children, or to resist being raped by her husband. Those who fought against this legalized oppression of women were accused of seeking the abolition of marriage.
The male supremacists argument was that the subordination of the wife to the husband had so long characterized marriage that it should be considered part of the very definition of marriage, so that no relationship between legal equals could count as a marriage.
If we were to apply that standard nowadays, we would have to say that there are no married couples in the United States today. If were not willing to say that, then we must admit that marriages history does not define its boundaries.
Just as the 19th-century male supremacists rejected same-rights marriage as contradictory, so todays hetero-supremacists reject same-sex marriage as impossible, as Bruce Murray does in his letter [Sunday]. But if we reject the former argument, we must reject the latter for the same reason.
The anti-marriage-equality act (calling it the defense-of-marriage act is the equivalent of calling the old prohibition on womens and blacks right to vote the defense-of-voting act) is trivially unconstitutional; theres no way that granting special rights to heterosexuals and denying them to homosexuals can be considered equal protection of the laws.
More importantly (since justice is always more important than legality), the anti-marriage-equality act is a sin against human equality, and an oath to enforce it would be just as illegitimate as an oath to commit any other crime.
Roderick T. Long