Opponents of same-sex marriage object, often strenuously, to comparisons with interracial marriage. Homosexuality is a behavior rather than a trait, they contend, and men and women of different races are sexually compatible in a way that same-gender couples are not.
All analogies are inexact. But for practical purposes, whether the comparison holds up in every possible regard matters less than whether it holds up in legal terms. And from that perspective, the comparison is proving powerful indeed. So far six federal judges have ruled against state restrictions on gay marriage, and every one of them has invoked Loving v. Virginia — the 1967 case in which the Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage.
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