History News Network | Why the Ugly Rhetoric Against Gay Marriage Is Familiar to this Historian of Miscegenation
The late Peggy Pascoe is the author of "What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America," an award-winning history of miscegenation law. In this essay she points out some of the parallels between the fight for racial equality and the fight for sexual equality under marriage law:
April 21, 2014 at 11:15:57 AM MDT
"I would argue that it is virtually impossible to understand the current debate over same-sex marriage without first understanding the history of American miscegenation laws and the long legal fight against them, if only because both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage come to this debate, knowing or unknowingly, wielding rhetorical tools forged during the history of miscegenation law. The arguments white supremacists used to justify for miscegenation laws--that interracial marriages were contrary to God's will or somehow unnatural--are echoed today by the most conservative opponents of same-sex marriage."