In 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Virginia law that had been in place for 43 years, prohibiting people from different races from marrying one another. At stake was the freedom of an interracial couple who had each been sentenced to one year in prison for breaking the Virginia statute — categorized as “mixing of the races,” or miscegenation. Fast forward almost five decades, and we find ourselves battling yet another form of prejudicial ignorance, and forcing ourselves to ask the question: why is the government impeding same-sex marriage?
The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in August of 2013, overturning a California law — Proposition 8 — which banned same-sex marriages. Essentially, this created the momentum needed in the social and legal landscape to see same-sex marriage legalized everywhere.
The true issue here isn’t about same-sex or interracial marriage, but rather the failure of uncompetitive democracy to provide for equality. Indeed, we have no choice but to address the glaring and unforgivable fact that slavery was condoned and legal in the United States of America until 1865.
As long as power is bestowed to a dogmatic, self-seeking minority, by constituencies that irrationally, unfairly, and atrociously seek to deprive any individuals or groups of equal privilege to live and prosper in our society, then democracy will fail. Even the current U.S. president doesn’t seem to know at any given point in time where he stands on the issue — and this just bolsters my point. It is true that time tends to improve the ethos and mores of any society, but it is nonetheless deeply troubling that such changes can take decades, or even centuries to manifest.
The most efficient path to progress is decentralization — whereby theories can be tested in multiple contexts, simultaneously. The best ideas (in this case, the most equitable) can quickly advance, while the poorest are afforded the proper environment to demonstrably fail — rather than being perpetuated, as the majority and the minority hash out their differences.
If we must have democracy — and I do agree that it is necessary at some level — then let us do it competitively; have we not experienced enough disparity with our tedious, bureacratic, federal application of law?