It has been more than 100 years since the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson’s great-great-grandmother was prohibited from marrying her great-great-grandfather. She was Irish and he was black – mixed-race marriages were illegal then in Virginia.
It seems odd to say that all restrictions about who can marry whom are now considered to be evil. I know that the current cry is for men to be allowed to marry men and women to marry women, but this seems different than what happened to Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson’s ancestors. My guess is that people at the time saw the relationship as a marriage, though an illicit one, while they would have failed to see a cross racial same sex relationship as even being a marriage.
The argument is not so much about who can marry and who can’t, but about what constitutes a marriage. The urge is to get the government – at some level – to get in and tinker with this basic social institution and change its nature.