Prop 8 Lawyers Olson & Boies Agree: Interracial Loving Paved The Way For Same-Sex Marriage

In the video above, Ted Olson and David Boies—the lawyers seeking to overturn Prop 8—provide their explanation of the legal precedent for same-sex marriage equality: a historic Supreme Court ruling in favor of interracial marriage or as Spike Lee would call it, Jungle Fever.

It’s the 44th anniversary of the landmark Loving versus Virginia case where African-American/Native-American descendant Mildred married caucasian born Richard Loving despite Virginia’s miscegenation laws. Milly and Dick figuratively said, “Damn the man” and their outlaw marriage ended up legalizing interracial marriage nationwide. In their landmark decision, the Supremes declared marriage as one of the “basic civil rights of man.”

Of course, we don’t know if Olson and Boies’ case will affect California, the northwest or the entire nation yet. But it’s interesting to see Mildred quoted as another black person who see similarity in the civil rights movement and the battle for queer rights.

What would Wanda Sykes say? After all, she thinks “Being gay is harder than being black.” Has she ever had an interracial lover? Inquiring minds want pictures.

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  • Al

    A couple of things. First, yes, Wanda Sykes does know interracial love because her wife is a white French women. Second, the use of “jungle fever” is offensive, no matter that it was the name of a Spike Lee film. “Jungle” implies that black folks are uncivilized and I find it a terribly offensive way to think about a people. Lastly, I wonder why it’s so important for not only this blog, but the media in general to underscore the notion that Mildred Loving is half native American. We don’t seem to do that for anyone else. Is this a strategy to somehow make her union seem more “acceptable” by underscoring that she isn’t all black?

  • Mike in Asheville

    Well, Queerty, you are not Spike Lee; your headline is racist and vile.

    And, you can’t bother to take a minute to Google Wanda Sykes, check her Wiki page, and see that the woman Wanda is married to is WHITE — (or for most of us, we have watched one of Wanda’s several comedy gigs where she makes fun of herself and her wife being an interracial couple.


    I bet your post about Tracey Morgan’s latest stand-up routine rails — and deservedly so — against his blatant homophobia. But you guys, of course, will miss the irony that you frequently post xenophobic rants too.

  • John

    This site needs to give some serious thought either to having its existing writers shift to a prose style that better suits them or to hiring writers who are capable of writing in the style the current writers are unsuccessfully striving for. Imitation sass like this is embarrassing to read, and, in missing the mark, it often creates offense.

  • Rainfish2000

    I’m not in the business of defending what is “tasteful” and what is not — eye of the beholder and all of that — but the “in your face” headlines here at Queerty are obviously a lure — like what an Angler Fish uses to draw unsuspecting little fishes in closer before its jaws snap shut. It’s the old game of “hey, I made you look…now I own you”.

    Other current events outlets from newspapers to television do it all of the time, especially gossip rags. So, let none us pretend that we don’t know what we’re getting when we come here. Don’t bitch about the food, if you keep going back to the same restaurant. You don’t expect a wine list handed to you when you go to a hamburger joint; don’t expect journalistic ethos and deadpan reporting here either. You get what you pay for. Queerty’s a drag show, not the Metropolitan Opera.

  • Atlas

    Seriously whoever owns this site should just fire the entire writing staff. Every article I click on here is either offensively prejudiced or mocking gay people and straight allies.

  • Sabat

    Al and Mike really need to get those sticks out of their asses.

  • TheRealAdam

    I don’t see how anyone could argue that “jungle fever marriage” DIDN’T pave the way for gays marrying. This is all part of the move toward equality, and anyone who says otherwise is a bigot and anti-gay.

  • Al

    For those who believe that my criticism of Queerty’s story is unfounded, then I ask you how you reconcile the notion that perhaps many of you are outraged by Tracy Morgan’s comments about gay people. We cannot agree to let certain things pass (particularly as they relate to race, specifically in gay communities) and then take a moral high ground when those things said are disturbing to a part of our identity. I agree with Audre Lorde when she asserts that their is no hierarchy of differences, so when we stand for gay equality, we have to stand for all equality. When we speak out against blasphemous comments about gay people, we should stand up for the same comments when lobbed against raced bodies.

  • TheRealAdam

    @Al: Are you done now?

  • Daniel

    @Al: I actually think you raise a valid point about my use of “Jungle Fever” in the headline. I was attempting to use a provocative synonym for interracial relationships, but I can see now that even though Spike Lee used it, even he knew of its insulting implications and denigration of blacks as animals and for that I apologize.

    With so much of this week’s coverage centering around race, especially because of Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay tirade, I recognize the importance of treating everyone in our community as we would like to be treated. And as such, I have changed the headline from “Prop 8 Lawyers Olson & Boies Agree: Jungle Fever Paved The Way For Same-Sex Marriage” to “Prop 8 Lawyers Olson & Boies Agree: Interracial Loving Paved The Way For Same-Sex Marriage.”

    I really do appreciate your comment. We try to be provocative and challenging here, but we do make mistakes and it is never an excuse for carelessness or bigotry.

  • Afro Boricua

    @Al; I agree, white America will accept any group into their community or interracial dating that’s not 100% negroid. White or light skin Hispanics is accepting to marry or date in both the white gay and straight communities. Desi Arnez was a Cubano, but he still was white. He was able to marry Lucille Ball during the 40’s in this country because he had white or was a Caucasian.

  • Afro Boricua

    It’s always have been more difficult for a black and white to marry or date. It’s more acceptable for a Hispanic, Asian, Middle Easterner, and Indian to marry or date a white or Caucasian person. I guess, blacks as a people have been cursed on earth. No one see’s black as being beautiful, outside the black community. Sometimes blacks want to look white or deny their natural facial features, skin color, and having nappy hair.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Afro Boricua: Ummm, did you read any of this post? You state “No one sees black as beautiful, outside the black community.” Yet, the Loving case is about a white man and black woman who fell in love — they saw the beauty of their love.

    For myself, I have always been an equal opportunity slut. I find attraction in many different ways including racial differences — I wanted to experience sex and relationships with white, black, Hispanic, Jewish, all the various Asian ethnicities, etc.

    Not everyone is so myopic that they do not see beauty is beyond skin color.


    @Sabat: I much prefer a hard black cock than a “stick in my ass” any day.

    Racism, nor any other xenophobia, is a “stick”. Read the author’s well written “mea cupa” @ # No.10.


    @Daniel: Good job; [while I read many, I don’t read all Queerty posts] this is the best comment you have posted — clear and without excuses. Cheers.

  • Hotone2me

    @Afro Boricua: @Mike in Asheville:

    I would have to disagree with your notion Afro Boricua, there are plenty of people that find African Americans beautiful (myself included). However the over focus of whites in the lgbt communities does tend to over shadow the other races and ethnic groups that comprise of the LGBT communities from around the globe.
    I would have to agree with Mike in Asheville, I am also in equal opportunists, albeit that I am not a slut. ;) As an African American openly gay male in Louisville, KY many of my boyfriends have been of other races. From my experiences interracial relationships does create a different mode of stress towards same-sex relationships, but until equality is had by all, its stressful none the less.
    Afro Boricua you made an interesting observation as how much easier it maybe for interracial relationships that are not African American. Times are changing; you can see this reflected in our current President being interracial. Race and color does matter in our country, but love can conquer all!!
    Good point @Al:

    At the risk of being repetitive, the term “Jungle Fever” is quite offensive, and I am very please at Daniel Villarreal repost. You do make a good point as well, and Queerty, good job of making the connections brought about for Prop8 similarities of the debate surrounding interracial marriage was once illegal in this country, and it is now considered unconstitutional. There are great parallel towards the arguments against interracial marriage and the argument being used today against same-sex marriages.

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