Time to fight again for civil rights

Americans once opposed interracial marriage, but equality prevailed.

by Katherine Myren-Manbeck

In 1968, the longstanding ban on interracial marriage was overturned. Today, public opinion toward it is overwhelmingly favorable, but this sentiment wasnâÄôt always a part of the nationâÄôs morals. According to screenwriter John Rogers, when the Supreme Court officially legalized interracial marriage, almost three-quarters of the American public disagreed with the decision. The odds are much better in the gay marriage debate: according to a CNN poll, a majority of college-age individuals support same-sex marriage, as does just under half of the general public. It is unfair, unethical and anti-egalitarian for the law to deny certain couples the rights granted to others because of who they are. All people in the âÄúland of the freeâÄù deserve the right to marry whomever they choose. It is time for legislators to listen to their constituents and make a bold move for civil rights. Equality may be ultimately inevitable, but it faces very real challenges right now. States all over America are denying civil rights to LBGT individuals. Maine is the latest in a series of disappointments, but if we donâÄôt resist, it wonâÄôt be the last. Minnesota has the opportunity to be a progressive force for real, important social change. History will look favorably on our will to fight for civil rights. We need to take a stance and make change now. It is our responsibility as supporters of civil rights to take initiative and start educating people about the necessity of gay marriage. To further this end, a campus event will bring Sen. Scott Dibble, Pastor Mary Albing and Lori Lippert to the University of Minnesota on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. These three individuals will address, respectively, the proposed equal rights marriage legislation, the religious importance of gay marriage and the way same-sex marriage affects community members. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, so please plan to attend even if you are uncertain about your own support of this issue. The event will be held in Smith Hall, room 331, and there will be cookies and coffee available for free. Katherine Myren-Manbeck University undergraduate student