I guess the fulfillment of human rights must follow certain paths — establishment of a just government followed by the implementation of specific rights to all sub groups in a particular society. During my lifetime I have watched successive groups making their way past oppressive barriers. Jews had to open the doors to both prestige colleges and communities where restrictive covenants built into local deeds barred them from buying restricted properties. African Americans and some other recent immigrant arrivals are still struggling for just treatment of all — check out our imprisonment stats.

One of the big breakthroughs for African Americans (and some others) was the Loving v. Virginia case of 1967 which legalized marriages against the bar of miscegenation laws:


The recent decisions of Iowa and Vermont to legalize gay marriages seems to follow the Loving pattern. What now is needed is a national judgment settling the issue for all. It may take some time with our primitive religious bigotries riding high in some communities, but hopefully the day of justice will come. Many if not most of us have gay friends and some of our most talented and productive people are among them.

I recall a friend pointing out early in the civil rights era that those of us who cared for justice should speak out — loudly or quietly if one prefers. But let’s start tracking down our pols at least and make them justify their bigotries, if that’s where they still are.

Loving, of course, was an apt name for that classic case. Perhaps some appropriate words and thoughts can be achieved with gay rights, too.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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