At the time that the Supreme
Court issued its decision on Loving v. Virginia in the summer of 1967,
interracial marriage was still a felony offense in sixteen states.
Despite the decision, some state laws banning interracial marriage have
remained on the books until as recently as 2000. Because of the
historical timeline, it was difficult to locate an interracial couple
who met the 40-year criterion for this project. So I was thrilled
to find Robert and Patricia Carey living across town from me, in a townhouse
in East Harlem.
It was in the heady days
of the Civil Rights Movement in America that they spent four years in
an evolving romance, culminating in their wedding in the summer of 1965.
Bob, the son of a Connecticut doctor, and Pat, the daughter of a minister
from Chicago, met during their college years, in 1961, as volunteers
for a summer community service program called Operation Crossroads to
Africa. They wrote to each other while Bob helped to build a pair
of schools in Dahomey (now Benin) and Pat went to Nigeria, where she
helped to build cement steps enabling the villagers to reach the local
stream and later attended a midwifery clinic. Returning to the
United States, they continued to develop their relationship from a distance.
Bob entered Union Theological Seminary and landed an internship at Ebenezer
Baptist Church in Atlanta, working with Drs. Martin Luther King, Jr.
and Sr. Pat earned her Masters’ Degree in Psychology from
Michigan State, interning at a hospital in Chicago before joining Bob
in Atlanta. They lived together in a communal Mennonite house
that was a way station for all sorts of individuals involved in the
civil rights movement of the day.
In the face of considerable
resistance from their families and communities, Bob and Pat determined
that they were serious enough to get married. Unable to marry
in Georgia without dangerous consequences, they defiantly managed to
purchase their rings there before leaving for Chicago, where they were
married by Pat’s father, a minister for the Church of God.
Today, Bob is a teacher
and Dean of Graduate Studies at Empire State College, splitting his
time between New York City and Saratoga; Pat is an Assistant Chancellor
and an Associate Dean at New York University’s Steinhardt School
of Education. They have two children.
generation, we were expected to be married.
Yeah, that’s one of the things you did.
Women of my generation
were expected to be married, certainly by, I don’t know, twenty-three,
twenty-four. Bob and I met when we were both participating in
this project called Operation Crossroads to Africa. This was an
organization that was started to take college students to Africa to
work on community service projects. We met during orientation.
I thought he was kinda cute, but I wasn’t looking.
Actually, I thought he was a little obnoxious, because he was so
energetic, and he loved the dances. I thought he was quite interesting,
and intellectual, and all of that. But I didn’t have in
my mind, “oh, this is gonna be my husband.” Because
I really was not looking. Consciously.
I was… somewhere between looking and hunting, I suppose.
In fact, I had been engaged when I was a senior in college, and that
had sort of come apart, so at that point I was thinking, “mmm,
yeah, well… let’s not be in any great rush.”
And this is ’60-’61?
Summer of ’61. That’s
right. Just the beginning of the civil rights
movement. I was at Wesleyan; the sit-ins had started. Some
friends and I organized a sympathy demonstration in Middletown in front
of the Woolworth’s that was there. So I think that was very
much a kind of things-being-in-the-air. As I think about it, it
was an incredibly hopeful time.
Kennedy really came to symbolize for a lot of us a sense of,
“hey, our time is here.”
So you met at this orientation,
you had these first impressions. But you didn’t go to the
No. So we went off to do
our thing. But we stayed in touch over the summer, didn’t
Yeah. We wrote…
You know, little notes.
…a couple of times, notes, “how’s it going,”
“what’s up,” that sort of thing.
Within Africa. When we were there.
And we saw each other when we regrouped on the way back.
We decided to stay in touch.
I was going to Union Seminary. I’d gotten a Rockefeller
fellowship to go for a year. It was the Fund for Theological Education,
to encourage people to consider careers in Ministry. So I thought
it was worth taking the time to really explore that. And the Rockefeller
thing was a terrific incentive. So, there I was at Union; Pat
was at Michigan State—
Doing my Master’s. My direction was Psychology.
And then I did get my degree, and Bob, by that time, was in
Atlanta, working with Dr. King and Dr. King’s father, at Ebenezer
Baptist Church as an intern.
And living in this commune, Mennonite community. We decided,
by that time, that we needed sort of day-to-day contact to
see if we really wanted to… be together.
So you had crossed into a romantic
place somewhere along this arc.
Pat had come to Union a few times, and I’d been to Chicago…
To visit my folks.
I had been to Meriden…
To visit your folks. And then we decided that
maybe we were serious.
I don’t know how it all began, but we stayed in touch;
and then it was getting to be a little more than just, “let’s
just stay in touch.” (to Bob.) Don’t
Yeah. I think that’s right. I think that
the visits were probably another notch along the way. It was beginning
to sort of gather some mass and headway as it moved along.
Were you dating around as well
at the same time?
(Dryly.) Yes, I know. (Laughter.)
Yeah, I guess… I was going out, but I wasn’t serious.
I wasn’t falling in love.
There was a program—
—that had started in the ‘60s called the Student
Interracial Ministry. The idea of the Student Interracial Ministry
was to place ministerial students, white and black, in a variety of
parishes, southern and northern; and, basically, sort of cross-place.
So, the luck of the draw, I went to Ebenezer Baptist Church. It
was really quite extraordinary. Went down on the train; you could
still go down to Atlanta on the train. Seemed to take forever.
I was active in the church for both years, but the second year,
I was also the Acting Director of the Atlanta Council on Human Relations.
So it was both the church community and other things. And it was
that second year that Pat and I said, “okay. We’ve
got to get down to cases here.” So she
came down, after much pulling and hauling.
Mm-hmm. I had already graduated with
my Master’s, and I was working at Chicago State Hospital.
I was living with my father—he had gotten remarried by then, but—I’m
there, in Chicago. So I said to my father one day, “I think
I’m going to move to Atlanta. Bob is there, and we’re
really trying to decide whether or not we are serious enough to be married.”
my father had a fit. This big-time minister in Chicago, his daughter
is going to live in sin. I just said, “really, this is my
decision.” “Well, he probably doesn’t want to
marry you.” I said, “but I’ve got to find that
out for myself.” “Well, I’m gonna call the police,”
he said, “and they’re going to get you.” I said,
“yeah, and I probably won’t come out of jail. Because
they will find out that Bob and I are living together in this commune”—it
was an interracial commune, but nevertheless—“they will
get me, I will be in jail, and they will probably lynch me,
and you’ll never see me again.” And he just threw
up his hands.
How much of that was the racial
question, and how much was the premarital, living-in-sin question?
Oh, it was absolutely the racial
question. Yeah. And then he says, “I will disown you.
You will get nothing from me.” I said, “well, you
know what? I don’t really need anything.” He
really thought I was losing my mind. And I reminded him that he
taught us, I was socialized, to present my argument. And follow
my mind, you know? Stick with it. So he called a council
of all of my relatives and my friends who were in Chicago. He
said, “Pat is a little confused. So we have to help her
decide against going to Atlanta.” And even my very best
friend at that time says, “Pat, please, don’t do it this
time. Don’t go to Atlanta this time.” I said,
“but this is my only time. I’m trying to decide whether
Bob and I are really in love enough to get married.”
I got a call from one of Pat’s friends saying, “you
better get up here.” So, I remember getting a flight out
of Atlanta. And her father and I had a very,
very contentious discussion. They lined up along the same lines
as what I’d heard from my family. Mine took a more
New England style, which is to say, you know, in a—
Yes. Right. The ice approach. But it was
the same worry. About friends, about reputation. But, then…
Pat came down to Atlanta.
Over the time period of our trying
to decide whether or not we were going to make this work—it was
over a four year period, but it was a long-distance romance—we
talked a lot about being an interracial couple, through our letters.
Yeah, we still have the letters.
And we used these two characters, Panther and Lion, to really
talk through a lot of the racial issues. I was
Panther. And you were Lion.
And so, our letters were, “well, Panther is confused,
or wondering if Lion likes her even though she is a black person.”
And, “these things are going on this society, dah dah dah,
and how are they going to deal with this?”
They were not only nicknames for
yourselves and each other, but sort of a one-step removal to be able
to address it?
Yeah. Yeah. To create
a space where we could actually see ourselves, or try to see ourselves.
I think that one of the reasons it took us so long was not only the
time and distance, but that question that becomes very, very central,
that we really had to look at, which was, “are we doing this just
to drive our parents crazy? Or does this relationship have its
own kind of logic and an interior core?”
And I think we literally had to walk into that to get that
sorted out. Then we had the experience of meeting interracial
couples whose sole achievement was that they were an interracial
couple. We thought, “oops. I don’t think we
wanna go there.” And that pretty much confirmed for us that,
as long as it had taken to get some stuff sorted out, that that was
probably worth the walk.
Yeah, because we weren’t trying to prove anything, certainly
consciously. Yeah, I had always been kind of a rebel, and Bob
had been kind of a rebel; but this was a serious thing, and we did not
want this, as Bob is saying, to be a rebellious act.
I truly believe in marriage, and was taking it very, very seriously;
and you, too. Yeah. I guess we did spend four years.
In a “therapeutic” relationship. You know, through
our letters, going through a lot of these issues. And then decided,
yeah, this is what we really wanted to do.
Pat’s arrival in Atlanta.]
It was like a halfway house. A lot of civil rights workers…
it became a place where people went to on their comings and goings…
from working in Albany or the voter rights summer; we had a lot of folks
there, we had peacewalkers coming through… so it was really a
kind of commune, as well as a whole bunch of Mennonite folks
who were coming to Atlanta to do their service, because they’ve
got that tradition. It was a big frame house,
lots of rooms.
The back of our house abutted Dr. King’s house.
We’d walk around to his house to visit. Which was
Were there other interracial couples
The first time I attended the church service…
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Daddy King was trying to introduce me. (Bob laughs.)
And he could not… he didn’t know how to introduce
me. Because it was so startling to him. That I was…
I don’t think he knew I was black.
I don’t think so.
I arrived, and—this was one Sunday morning—he says,
“well, Bob Carey… I want to introduce Bob Carey’s…
well, Bob has a friend… well, uh… well,
Pat, just stand up.”
He couldn’t say fiancée.
He could not say…
He couldn’t say fiancée. I
think probably he didn’t know how to present it.
In terms of what do you do now, because this was quite
public; at a time, you know, we could—we were outside the law,
as far as Georgia law was concerned.
Yeah. It was illegal.
When we got our wedding rings, I went into a jewelry store,
and looked at some, and identified ones; and then Pat came in another
day, you know, just like we were two unconnected persons—
Right. (Showing me her wedding rings.)
These are they.
—to look at the rings and, in fact, we got them.
Mm-hmm. In Atlanta.
Yeah. But it was 1964. And interracial marriages
were illegal in Georgia.
Sometimes we’d go out when we were in Atlanta.
And I remember this one time, we went to the movies with some friends
from the community. Bob and I sat down along
with our friends. And this whole row of people moved—these
were white people—who just moved. So we had the entire row
to ourselves. And that was scary to me, because we were going
to be in the dark. And I became afraid. Or, remember when
we went to the party?
Bob and I were invited to a party, and we were coming home
late. So I would get in the back seat and put my head down, you
know? Because if we were ever stopped—and we could well
have been, at that time—with my being in front, and his driving,
we knew it was very, very dangerous. The things we did in Atlanta,
some of them were very dangerous. So, in getting back
to what was on the books in terms of the law, it was illegal for people
to date interracially. And certainly to marry interracially.
The Supreme Court decision wasn’t
What was the rest of the country
like? Was it a non-issue in the north, in general?
No, no. It was still an
issue. I remember, when Bob and I did say to our families, “we’re
going to be married,” and I told my father, who was a minister,
that we would get another minister, and he says, “oh, no, no,
no. I will marry you.” And I said, “fine.”
That was his arrogance; he couldn’t lose face by having somebody
else perform the ceremony. So it really became a reality.
As it turns out, there were a lot of people who came just as onlookers.
It was like going to the zoo. We had a very big church
wedding. But Bob’s family did not come to the wedding.
They said they could not, in all conscience, come to the wedding, and
they did not. And that was very, very hurtful, very painful.
That was the classic New England moment. We were standing
in our front yard; I was about to go to Chicago, and I asked them, “are
you going to come to the wedding?” They said no, that they
weren’t; so I said, “okay, goodbye.” And I think,
at that point, it was pretty much that was that.
Sort of “goodbye,” in the sense of “have
a nice life.” But one of the things that my folks did was,
they gave us the same wedding gift that they had given to all the other
kids. So, tradition still…
…had its weight. And its moment. Which was
Yeah. It was very nice. Very… very touching, really.
But we were reconciled, once Bob and I were married.
While our parents were having a hard time accepting our marriage, still,
tradition really won over their feelings. I think they were just
too… wanting to do what was right to exclude us from, say, traditional
But again, we had determined early on that we weren’t
doing this to prove a point; nor were we trying to get them to accept
our way of being in this world.
Yeah. And I think that the slow but steady getting back
together and re-establishing relationship grew out of that clarity.
Because we were saying, “we’re not sending you
away,” and that created some space for us to be in touch and,
over the years, to get really, really close. I think that was
only possible because we didn’t say, “love us or else.”
It was a case of, “this is who we are. And if you’re
comfortable with that, and we’re comfortable with that, then we
can find ways of putting it back together.” And it did happen.
The first time we brought our daughter up to her grandparents’,
in Meriden, my mother-in-law was very excited to take her, and me, to
her coffee klatch and to show off her new granddaughter. My father
was very excited about showing off his granddaughter. So, in a
way, our kids—I mean, children really do help to bring families
together. But the point here, too, is that after a time, I think
you really do stop seeing color. I remember a couple of times
we went out shopping, looking for some dress. We had a couple
of the other grandchildren, and my daughter called my mother-in-law
from across the aisle. She says, “Gram, where are you?”
And my mother-in-law called back, “Oh, I’m over here, come
on over here.”
there, and I could see people kind of looking at us, the group.
And my mother-in-law didn’t even give it a thought. It was
just something that was “normal.” So after a time,
really, you stop seeing color. Or color doesn’t really…
matter. I look at Bob, and I—that’s why I stumble
every time I say, “oh, he’s white.” And then
I think, “no, he’s Bob.” Really.
You know, we have arguments, and I’m not looking at this guy and
saying, “oh, this white guy I’m arguing with.”
I’m… “this is Bob. My husband.”
How did you resist everybody else’s
pressures about the fact that you’re black and he’s white?
I think part of it is…
you can pick up on it and begin to realize that, very often, when you
get into discussion about color and race and stuff, and marriage, somebody
is asking you to solve their problem for them.
We have, I believe, always agreed that you have to work on
marriage every day. It’s a relationship that you have to
work on. We were clear, too, in terms of other people, that we
don’t talk for all interracial couples. We talk for Bob
and Pat. I was in a women’s group early
on. A Women’s Liberation group. You know, a black
It was our first meeting, and one of the women says, “I
assume we’re all married to these black men, and dah dah dah
dah.” I said, “well, that’s a wrong assumption.”
She says, “WHAT?” I said, “well, you
know, I don’t wear a banner across my chest, but yeah. My
husband is White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.” And he’s…
like every other male, probably.” “Oh, no,
no. White men are different from black men.” So it,
you know, had those conversations. Or conversations about,
“you know, you’re really lucky to be married to a white
guy. Because you just don’t know what it’s like to
be married to a black guy.” I said, “well, do you
know what it means to be married to black men? You’re
talking about your one husband.” When those conversations
come up, we’ve had to take them one at a time. It’s
important to try to be as clear as possible on our relationship.
And that clarity doesn’t just happen.
In those early days, how did you
avoid saying, “we’re having a problem, is it because of
the racial difference, is it an inherent thing and therefore it can’t
be solved, or it’s gonna be that much harder? Or was it
not ever an instinct to even think that way? In spite of all the
social hints that were being whispered in your ear?
I think that one of the things
we didn’t do was accept the notion that—the racial premise
is that there is a defining, unchanging interior difference between
peoples. We never went there. What we had to work
on was sorting out the question of what we valued, why, and where expectations
didn’t match or meld, what was going on there. Why was that
abrasive, why was that sandy? And I think that’s where the
And keeping fairly focused on that as the defining
reality, rather than some metaphysic of something else, I think helped
us a lot.
There was one interview we had with some reporter who followed
us, and videotaped us. Remember, darling?
Oh, yeah. The NBC person.
And her remark, after we finished the shoot, she says, “you’re
just so traditional. You’re just so boring.”
(Laughter.) And I said, “well, yeah.”
“We don’t have horns, you know. We’re
just boring folks who are trying to get through.”
What do you feel is the biggest
challenge you’ve had to face or confront together?
Well, I don’t think it’s
based on being an interracial couple. You know, just… at
times feeling that Bob wasn’t giving me enough attention.
You know, Bob can… you could stay in the house all day long,
and read your books; and not go out. And I’m more a social…
I like to go out, and all. So we did have a crisis in our marriage,
at one point. I guess we’ve had many different crises.
But I think that one was—I mean, one of the things that’s
hardest to figure out, and what Pat’s talking about, I think,
gets to that—is, to get used to the asymmetry of marriage.
It’s not, “one for you, and one for me.”
There are just different rhythms and patterns.
And that’s what we really had to school ourselves in.
That’s where the talking really became very, very crucial.
And added to that, my friends don’t necessarily
have to be Bob’s friends. You know? You want
togetherness in a relationship, but there must be some space in that
How did you define marriage when
you went into it, and now, 40 years into it, do you see it differently?
Pat, very early on, talked about
companionship. That really deepens, and takes
on a lot of different color and texture. The other day, for example,
we went to King of Prussia, PA, to see a friend who’s retiring
from American Baptist, and he and I had worked in Dr. King’s church.
And then we came back, and then went to ShopRite to go shopping, so,
you know, it was one of these absolutely insane days that we sometimes
have. But, the reality of that day captures, it seems
to me, what I mean about companionship. Is that we just sort of
like hanging out with each other. That sort of “rattle
around” feeling. Of traveling, and doing this, doing that.
That, I think, we had to learn and find our way to.
That’s right. Right. Because our role models
were our parents. And I know, just in thinking about my parents,
they seemed so old when I was young. Their relationship, it was
just very traditional; and I never thought in terms of, “wow,
they really have lots of fun together.” Our kids
say to us, “you guys are always going someplace.”
And so we say, “we like hanging out with each other.”
I can’t imagine that conversation taking place about my parents.
into a marriage, yeah. I had… “yes, we’re gonna
get married, and we’ll both work, and then we’re
gonna have children.” And of course, I said, “well,
I’ll be cooking, and cleaning, and doing all
these things…” So that picture has changed.
Because… I became liberated. (They laugh.)
from sex, you have to at least like some of the other
things about being together. You know? Anybody can have
sex. So it’s important to like each other.
And that was… we learned that. You know, I didn’t
think that, originally. The importance of liking each other, and
liking to be in one another’s company. And sharing.
And the importance of talking through things, even when it hurts.
It’s hard to talk through. And also… because
I remember this… not expecting each other to read each other’s
minds. That’s really important. I think you said that
to me a long, long time ago.
“I can’t read your mind. We can’t read
each other’s mind.” So you have to say what you want,
or think, by saying it.
It really is a project. It’s an ongoing work.
And one hesitates to use the word “buddies” in this context,
because that sounds so absolutely adolescent (Pat laughs.)
and unromantic, and “my God, they must be wearing sneakers.”
And be totally untogether. But the undeniable reality
is that, as you walk into your marriage, and it becomes this landscape
that you inhabit, that what I call “rattling around,” “hanging
out,” doing things together because you derive satisfaction from
it, has that kind of… “this is my best friend…
the person that knows me, absolutely down to my socks.”
the Civil Rights movement.]
There were some real, real successes, and those are documentable
in terms of what the rights movement accomplished. And
what it stirred up in its wake. I mean, Women’s Rights,
Gay Rights… all of those are the grandchildren of that great
opening moment. Or at least a moment in a history that stretches
very, very far back and continues to stretch in front of us. But
the one thing that I think I’m left with now is the sense of:
is it possible for another generation—and I certainly hope it
is—to catch that sense of hope on the wing… that
I think really was our moment.
One of the things that our kids forced us to reckon with was:
for them, King was something you read about in a history book.
I can hear his voice; I can see his face; I am sitting at his
table in Atlanta. “But you should know this,”
that’s what you say to your children, but why should they know
it? They’re born… their tabula is rasa,
and anyway, maybe with a good education they’ll catch some glimpse
of that. But as I think back over that time, all the hope also
was accompanied by enormous cost. And the thing that I’m
most worried about, in terms of this country and the sense of its becoming
yet more inclusive, yet more open, yet more democratic, is a really,
really stark class division. A real Latin-America, very top-of-the-mark
people who rule everything, and everybody else is on the scuffle.
And that will be the second, and really awful, civil war.
I agree. I was talking with my scholars group—this
is an undergraduate group at the University. And I was telling
them about the Civil Rights Movement, the Women’s Movement, talking
about marching for women’s rights. To choose. And
I was on the line, marching; my daughter was a baby and I had her in
my little baby-holder. And there were a couple of women on the
side who [said], “you should be ashamed of yourself.”
So I said, “but it was my choice. This was my
choice.” And I was voting for other women to have choices.
the students in class can’t understand that. There are so
many students in this generation who have a sense of entitlement; but
of course, that should be. I mean, why not? Not really knowing
what it took for them to now have that sense, feel that sense of entitlement.
Not that they should be down in the dumps, and say, “oh, wow,
this is… yeah, we’ve come a long way.” But
it’s a sense of history.
You were asking about the changes, and the notion of marriage.
That’s, to me, one of the happy things—
That now, the term has become so fluid. That people really
do have to take a look at…
What it means.
“What is this,” as opposed to (he affects a
deep authoritarian voice.) “it is written that male
and female, etc.” The notion of companionate marriage, the
range of… What should we call an enduring, affectional, caring
relationship? And what does that mean, in terms of where the prerogatives
of the state and the individual meet and leave each other? Because
of all the rights, that’s one of the most fundamental.
That I can choose to be with whomever I want to be with. That
the state has no competency in the area of defining what a companionate
relationship should be.
that side, you think, okay, the pot’s still boiling; people are
still pushing at this issue of an openness, an availability to each
other; the texture of our public life is now more interesting;
more grainy; more of what’s really there. Even
as I worry about the big drivers of economics and politics becoming
a closed, very exclusive club.
What is a marriage to you?
Well, it’s been interesting;
because one of the things I’ve learned from our gay friends that
we know, who have companionate marriages, is that some things do endure.
That there’s still an asymmetry. If it’s female-female,
male-male, it still has that asymmetry of any affectional relationship.
It’s got its rhythms, and its movements, and people who work at
it seem to really thrive, and make each other really complete.
think to the extent that we can look at this issue of relationships,
and how to keep them stable, and how to keep people in productive
relationships, really push at received notions. It’s gonna
take more than a little bit to do, because the idea that there is only
one way of thinking about marriage, I think, will be slow to change.
But I just think the fact that it’s now a public discussion
is, in itself, a huge forward step.
It’s not an issue that’s gonna go away. I
think a part of that is giving up a received moral vocabulary
that tends to shutter our capacity to look at the human dimensions of
situations. It’s a judgmental vocabulary to begin with.
“The minister’s daughter’s
marrying a white guy.”
Yeah. It tends to absolutism. And to look at in
terms of are they happy? Are they supporting each other?
Do they seem to be doing well? If they’ve
got kids, are the kids doing well?
Are they getting on?
Are they getting on with each other? Do they like
each other? And if they’ve got 8 out of 10 on the scale
of what a relationship would have, then… hey, you know?
Gee, if they were playing major league ball, you’d want a long-term
contract with these people! So I think, to the extent that we
can look at behaviors—and not at a kind of moral grid—so
much the better.
Do you think that’s going
I think it can happen;
I think it is happening, in its own tumultuous kind of way.
Because it’s, as I said before, I think because it is public.
And it’s also now political.
You know, marriage has been, and I believe will always be.
But the challenges to marriage along, say, class lines. That was
an issue. And it still is. Along racial lines. That
is, and it still remains; even though there are more interracial marriages
now than ten years, five years, two years ago. You have marriages
based on religious affiliations. And when you have a Jewish person
marrying a Chinese person… well, that’s a mixture.
And now you have same-sex marriages.
saying is, there are—at different ages and stages in this whole
cycle of marriage, in this world—there have been challenges to
the institution of marriage. So, right now, while interracial
marriages are still a point for discussion, now arrives on the scene
the same-sex marriages. And I don’t know what will be next
after that. But the basics still remain.
If these people like each other, they’re making it in various
ways, there are some parameters for marriage. No matter what the
So to you, that is a marriage.
If they’re making it.
So it can withstand that redefinition?
Uh-huh. Yeah, because—
Yeah, because basically, it’s already anchored.
It’s got a kind of center-pull quality to it. The politics
of it, I think, will be long term, and difficult. But I think
that’s where we are. In fact, I think we’re well down
What do you say to the people
who talk about it as the threat to family, and to stability as a society,
and this kind of thing?
I would turn that right on its
head. The fact that people want to be married, want
to be recognized as a married couple, means that they value
all of those things associated with long-term commitment. Stability,
being there for each other, being part of a community, presumably making
a contribution. As opposed to living in the marginal
corridors of a society. Under threat of prosecution, illegal,
removed from the center. My sense is the cost there is—
Is much greater.
Right. When folks talk about, “oh, isn’t
this horrible?” My response is, “but I don’t
believe people are asking you to choose that particular way
of being. But rather respect their choice.”
Just as we’ve asked people to respect our choice.
We’re not saying that interracial marriage is right for everybody.
In fact, it’s not. But we all have a right to choose, or
should have a right to choose.