History suggests a broader view of marriage equality | Letter to the EditorHistory suggests a broader view
February 21, 2012 · Updated 2:20 PM
For those of us still struggling with where we feel comfortable within the “illegal/taboo/unusual/less unusual/acceptance” spectrum of our own personal stand on the subject of same-gender marriage, let me offer this historical and most personal perspective.
As recently as 1987 in the United States, only 48 percent of us agreed that it was acceptable for a white person to date (much less marry and reproduce with) a nonwhite person. This included not only blacks and whites but any mixing of races.
Which meant to this very white woman some 10 years earlier that my own legal marriage to a dark-skinned Hispanic man was way down that acceptance spectrum, hovering somewhere between “unusual” and “taboo” in most places, except for Alabama, where it still would have been illegal. Our two beautiful children were representative to the majority of those polled as going against what was held by the mainstream to be “right.”
With the changing of behaviors have come the changing of attitudes. The Census Bureau estimates that multiracial individuals along with minorities will represent a majority of the U.S. population by mid-century. For my kids’ generation and for those who come after, racial and ethnic diversity are just a part of their lives — not an issue. They work and play with, love and marry who they choose. It’s not a factor.
For those of us still struggling with where we feel comfortable within the spectrum of our stand on same-gender marriage, please hear me: We should not place the burdens of our own fears, insecurities and lack of knowledge on the backs of yet another generation in the civil rights battle of this generation. In 30 years it will not be a factor. We should be the ones who stand tall today.
— Margaret Dibb