Dear Senator XXXXX
When I took Ms. Pesante’s US History class way back in middle school, I remember being introduced to our Nation’s unfortunate history of discrimination and being absolutely dumbfounded by it. Who were these people who denied full citizenship to women and immigrants, who bullied and lynched African Americans, who violently resisted integration and outlawed interracial marriage? This was not the America I knew.
I used to daydream in class, imagining what I would have done had I lived in those times. I wondered if I would have had the moral courage to picket with the suffragettes, or to help slaves on the Underground Railroad, or to march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Would I have had the strength of character to fight for Equality and American Liberty? I liked to think so even then as a young boy.
I wish to confront you with one hard fact: there is no such thing as a “Traditional Marriage.” In the Biblical era, marriages were social contracts between a man and one or several women who were expected to be subservient. Many of these unions were arranged marriages organized by families without the mutual consent of the participants.
Later, during the Romantic period, the idea that marriages should be about love and not class became popular. Later still, the idea that women should be complete and equal partners in marriage was accepted. And later still, we finally achieved legal recognition of interracial couples. The definition of marriage has changed and there’s no doubt that it will change again.
Very soon you will be given the historic opportunity to vote on whether or not to enshrine discrimination into the Indiana State Constitution by strictly defining marriage as a civil union between a man and a woman. As you may know, Indiana was one of the very last states to lift a ban on interracial marriage. The similarities between that old anti-miscegenation law and this new amendment are worth serious consideration.
Thankfully, you can help avoid another dark blotch in the history of Indiana State by voting NO on this amendment. I urge you; please don’t give the bullies and bigots of the world any more fodder for violence and discrimination. Americans are Romantics at heart, not ardent traditionalists. We believe in the right to the pursuit of Happiness and that means marrying the ones we love.
Please keep the spirit of my middle school years in mind as you cast your vote; it continues to cry out for Equality, Liberty, and Justice for all.
James J. Fuller Jr.