October 28, 2013

The Law's long arc towards equality

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York said on the issue of civil rights:
"In the whole history of the United States, no law limiting the rights of a particular class of people has ever stood the test of time, and neither will [laws like the Defense of Marriage Act]." 
He then said: “Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time." Andrew Sullivan echoed this position, who said: "When a government is upholding a position not just different from the people, but in a different universe, it’s only a matter of time before the dam bursts." Time after time lawmakers yield to the people; then suddenly past bigotries, prejudices and discriminations no longer exist in the public forum. As Alexis de Toqueville said:
"As long as the majority is still undecided, discussion is carried on; but as soon as its decision is irrevocably pronounced, everyone is silent, and the friends as well as the opponents of the measure unite in assenting to its propriety."
That's the story we need to tell in the debate, that, as Christopher Hitchens said, "At every turn they [the religious] try to make the public forget about their earlier obscurantism, in order that their present obscurantism may not be seen for what it really is."

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