Monday, April 8, 2013

Legality and Definition of Marriage, Looking Back in History about Interracial dating

In America only forty years ago interracial marriage was illegal. This means that in many of our lifetimes, and in almost every one of our parent's lifetimes marriage between a man and a woman of two separate races was literally not allowed by law. Although it was made legal in the late 1960s this just goes to show how functional of a society can still be so heavily rooted in discrimination and judgement of certain groups of people. One of the comparisons which I have made before several times is the debate between gay marriage and that of interracial marriage. This is a metaphor that shows hopefully the direction in which the legality and acceptance of both issues will go.

There was a time when there would be no possibility of a gay couple being shown together on television, just in the same way that showing a romantically involved interracial couple would be acceptable. Nowadays not only are both acceptable, but both are widely represented. This makes me personally feel validated and less restricted in terms of my personal life. Being a minority, and in an interracial relationship sometimes it feels like I have too many factors working against me. There are times when I feel like I am being judged and times when there are people who simply do not respect me or look at me in a way that is something other than ordinary. I have come to understand I can't win everyone over or have expectations of people to be completely open minded. There will always be those who oppose other people's basic rights no matter what the rest of the world thinks, or what is societally acceptable.

With the news of gay marriage such a strong issue these days it simply makes me feel like interracial relationships have largely reached a point where they don't need to be advocated for explicitly in America anymore. They have become something that is almost entirely accepted in most areas of the United States, and even if people don't approve willingly they know it is a norm. Gay marriage has in many ways taken the role that interracial relationship struggles once have had. Where once celebrities were nervous to admit they were in a relationship with another race due to societal implications, celebrities now are afraid to voice their sexual identity for the same sex for the same reasons. The bottom line is that this is a line that is further being blurred. The hip hop singer Frank Ocean recently came out as a homosexual which was groundbreaking news. Admitting homosexuality is like opening the floodgates for losing fans these days, but also allows for a multitude of support for those advocating for widespread acceptance of any social issues.

Those who are involved in homosexual relationships have those supporters who speak out for their rights who may or may not be homosexual themselves to thank. The same goes for people who are interested in, or involved in interracial relationships as well. There have always been groundbreaking stages in history that allow for people to break stereotypes and form new standards for normal and “right”. I am a proud supporter of interracial marriage and relationships being accepted for any reason and for any person. I do not think love should have any borders or any style of restriction based on anything. For the same reason I think people who want to be with others of the same sex should be able to do so. No one controls who they love or want to be with, so whose place is it to tell them they can't love that person?

By Mark

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