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Putting Gay Marriage To Popular Vote Is A Terrible Idea. Just Ask Interracial Couples

When discussing why putting marriage equality on the ballot is a bad idea, we’ve often joked that if anti-miscegenation laws were put to a popular vote, interracial marriages would probably still be illegal.

Turns out we’re not as funny as we thought we were.

Last month a Gallup poll found that approval for mixed-race marriages is at 86%. Which means that 14% of Americans—more than one in ten, as Jezebel points out— don’t approve of Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs’ relationship. For shame—when gorgeous people marry, it’s always right!

Breaking down the numbers, it turns out white folks are slightly more prejudiced: Only 84% are down for the swirl, as opposed to 96% of African-Americans.

And as with gay marriage, it’s the old folks—y’know the group that goes to the voting booth in droves—who are really causing the problem. Though Southerners, the uneducated and conservatives—or as they’re known collectively, the state of Virginia—polled lower than average, the elderly were at the bottom of the barrel: Only 66% of seniors polled approved of interracial marriages.

Did they at least lift their white sheets before answering the question?

As if there needs to be any clearer parallel drawn between these two struggles, let us look at the words of the late Mrs. Mildred Loving who—along with her husband, Richard—helped tear down anti-miscegenation laws in this country:

…Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

God bless you, Mrs. Loving.

On:           Sep 15, 2011
Tagged: , ,
    • gaytor

      Heads up *Idina…bad gay, bad

      Sep 15, 2011 at 7:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adam

      thanks for pointing out these parallels. i’ve always wondered why minority rights are left up to the majority to vote on passing or denying; it’s not like gay people ever got to vote on the legality of heterosexual marriage. democracies are set up to protect the rights of minorities, factions, unpopular ideas, after all.

      would jews in the country settle for a law in which christians had to approve their marriages before they could stamp on the wine glass and shout mazel tov? would african americans allow for an arrangement in which whites had to approve of their unions, taking us back to days of slavery and jumping the broom? why, then, do gays have to be so codependent as to wait for straights to recognize their unions and approve of them?


      Sep 15, 2011 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel

      Why in the world can’t queerty spell check and look over their work before it is posted on the internet. If ANYONE types “Edina Menzel” into a search engine it identifies the correct spelling – IDINA MENZEL. Who ever wrote/posted this article had to obviously search for the picture … so why not post the correct spelling of an amazing performer and beautiful woman.

      Sep 15, 2011 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cinesnatch

      @Daniel: It works quite easily: I type something up, you read it and look for errors.

      Queerty, it’s not rocket science.

      Anyway, I find these stats shocking.

      Sep 15, 2011 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DAN



      Sep 15, 2011 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JayKay




      Sep 15, 2011 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reason

      The numbers are great, there is always going to be that 10 to 15 that disapprove of everything. Is anyone really shocked about seniors? They were the ones putting the broken glass on the shower room floors for unknowing African Americans to step on, and creating the child predator homosexual ads. That was just there warm up act if you know what I mean. Were you truly wondering why the president has always had a senior problem, even at the height of his political popularity? GBLT will get there rights, the question is will we have to wait for the senior population to decline to win popular votes or will the government do the right thing.

      Sep 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy Shepherd

      “The numbers are great, there is always going to be that 10 to 15 that disapprove of everything”

      So are you saying 10-15% of Americans disapprove of heterosexual marriage? Or democracy? Or America?

      Sep 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SammySeattle

      It’s amazing what 40 years of reality does to improve poll numbers.

      Sep 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bryan

      I’m not surprised at all at the number of old people that support interracial marriage is at 66%. But I am surprised that there seems to be less support for it from whites rather than from blacks. I thought it’d be about equal or with less support from black people.

      Sep 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • doublestandard

      I wonder how the seniors and tea party people feel about Sarah Palins “black man fetish”


      Sep 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101

      Racism still rampant in America? I’m shocked!

      Sep 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Don

      @Reason: Excuse me, but I take exception to your lumping all seniors together as if we’ve got the plague. Let me educate you: I am 72 years old and in 1972 (probably before you were even born), I wrote the first gay rights ordinance to pass in the US. You youngsters need to go back and brush up on your gay history (assuming you know anything to start out with). In the meantime, clean up your act!!

      Sep 15, 2011 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reason

      @Tommy Shepherd: Can you truly sit there and not think that it is very much in the realm of possibility? The stretch would be disapproval of heterosexual marriage granted the bulk of the population is heterosexual, but with the people that don’t believe in any marriage, angry divorcees, polygamist, and hetero hating GBLT you might get close to 10.

      Sep 16, 2011 at 2:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reason

      @Don: Clearly hit a raw nerve, and yes you wrote that over a decade before I was born. Sure I could have been more careful in my wording granted that there are a lot of awesome seniors out there, but there are also far to many for this moment in time that are not. I understand where you are coming from, I would be wrathful if I had to be associated with some of these people myself. In other words point taken. I am not quite sure what gay history had to do with the conversation, but in truth I am no expert. Always saw science as the route for me to make a difference and maintain a good standard of life, but if you have any good book suggestion I will indulge. Historically I have focused on other politics ahead of civil rights because it is less depressing, but as of late it is being elevated to parity.

      Sep 16, 2011 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gay Veteran

      @Bryan: Why are you surprised? Just look at the gay community and the number of white gays not willing to date outside their race(or not date blacks mostly).

      Sep 16, 2011 at 3:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What?

      @Bryan: You don’t have a clue. Go sit in the corner. White Americans redefined bigotry and claimed ownership of it for centuries. Just because it’s become popular to pretend to be accepting of others and love thy neighbor doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t see you scoff when you think our backs are turned.

      Get real.

      Sep 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe

      UH HUH. And out of those 86% supposed enlightened americans do tell me how many of them approve of marriage equality or gay equality for that matter? Bunch of freagin idiots had to be dragged into enlightenment kicking and screaming regarding interracial marriage. Stop celebrating this. It means little.

      Sep 17, 2011 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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