FW: 1912 Defense of Marriage Proposal
- This is making the internet rounds. An interesting historical item.
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> 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
> Mr. Roddenberry's proposed amendment, in December
> 1912, stated, "Intermarriage between Negroes or
> persons of color and Caucasians . . . is forever
> 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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