I learned something new today that I will be passing on to my students when I talk about the history of gays and lesbians in my class. In 1949 the California State Supreme Court allowed blacks and whites to marry. 90% of the populous was against interracial marriage. That bit of history I knew. I also know that there is going to be an attempt to change the state constitution to make marriage only between a man and a woman. But what I didn’t know is that in 1964 two thirds of Californian voters changed the State Constitution to allow "home sellers and landlords shut the door on people if they didn’t like the color of their skin." Two thirds of the voters! And this was after the ban on interracial marriage was struck down. So just because a group of people can change the state constitution, doesn’t make them good people. Look at this group–they put in the state constitution the idea that people could discriminate based on color. Luckily it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1967. Who were those for this law? Some real estate agents. Ultra-conservative political groups. And, yes, you guessed it–fundamentalist Christian groups. They needed 480,000 signatures and the turned in 1,000,000. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Those who put the gay marriage ban on the ballot to change the constitution are conservative political groups and fundamentalist Christians.
Although over 40 years separates these two issues, the characters remain the same. Where you find racism, you find homohatred. Where you find homohatred, you find racism. So if this ballot issue passes, then I hope that people will remember the same group of fundamentalist Christians who created the ballot issue that instituted racism into the State of California’s Constitution…
And in case you were wondering, here is what that group of Conservatives and fundamentalist Christians had put into the Constitution:
Neither the State nor any subdivision or agency thereof shall deny, limit or abridge, directly or indirectly, the right of any person, who is willing or desires to sell, lease or rent any part or all of his real property, to decline to sell, lease or rent such property to such person or persons as he, in his absolute discretion, chooses."