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FW: 1912 Defense of Marriage Proposal

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    This is making the internet rounds. An interesting historical item. ... // Unsubscribe/suspend (NOMAIL), INDEX or DIGEST modes... ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2004
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      This is making the internet rounds. An interesting historical item.



      > EXCERPT
      >
      > Marriage: Mix and Match
      > By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
      > N Y Times
      > March 3, 2004
      >
      > Long before President Bush's call for "constitutional amendment
      > protecting marriage," Representative Seaborn Roddenberry of Georgia
      > proposed an amendment that he said would uphold the sanctity of
      > marriage.
      >
      > Mr. Roddenberry's proposed amendment, in December
      > 1912, stated, "Intermarriage between Negroes or
      > persons of color and Caucasians . . . is forever
      > prohibited."
      >
      > He took this action, he said, because some states were permitting
      > marriages that were "abhorrent and repugnant," and he aimed to
      > "exterminate now this debasing, ultrademoralizing, un-American and
      > inhuman leprosy."
      >
      > "Let this condition go on if you will," Mr.
      > Roddenberry warned. "At some day, perhaps remote, it
      > will be a question always whether or not the
      > solemnizing of matrimony in the North is between two descendants of
      > our Anglo-Saxon fathers and mothers or whether it be of a mixed blood
      > descended from the orangutan-trodden shores of far-off Africa." (His
      > zoology was off: orangutans come from Asia, not
      > Africa.).. . .
      >
      > Mr. Roddenberry also worried about the risks
      > ahead: "This slavery of white women to black beasts
      > will bring this nation to a conflict as fatal and as
      > bloody as ever reddened the soil of Virginia."
      >
      > That early effort to amend the Constitution arose
      > after a black boxer, Jack Johnson, ostentatiously
      > consorted with white women. "A blot on our
      > civilization," the governor of New York fretted.
      >
      > In the last half-century, there has been a stunning
      > change in racial attitudes. All but nine states banned interracial
      > marriages at one time, and in 1958, a poll found that 96 percent of
      > whites disapproved of marriages between blacks and whites. Yet in
      > 1997, 77
      > percent approved. . . .
      >

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