Religious Right Celebrates End of Interracial Marriage Ban

In a move of political jujitsu, conservatives try to claim the legacy of Mildred Loving in an effort to bash gay marriage.
This post originally appeared on ReligionDispatches.

Tony Perkins' Family Research Council may be the brightest star in the Christian Right constellation, with deep ties to the unholy trinity of the Republican party, James Dobson's Focus on the Family and even Blackwater USA--the military contractor whose malfeasance is fast becoming the stuff of legend.

Their email alerts, which I receive daily, can be distressingly cloying, deploying middle-age dad puns and witticisms worthy of the uniquely middle-american craft of crochet-art. Recent subject headings read: "Ligers, Tigons, and Zonkeys, Oh My!" (warning against the dangers of genetic engineering) and "Meet the Robinsons" (warning against the dangers of certain high-ranking, gay Episcopalians getting married).

And, despite connections to white supremacist groups documented by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Nation's Max Blumenthal, the FRC throws in the occasional right wing black preacher like Bishop Harry Jackson, nods to a self-serving slice of the Dr. King legacy and, this past week, a tribute to the Rosa Parks of miscegenation, Mildred Loving, who died on May 2nd. (Note: the white supremacist connections don't end there by a long shot. One could--and one still may--devote a whole post or series of posts to these connections...)

The FRC devotes a significant portion of its tribute to Loving to caution readers: "Although homosexual activists are fond of portraying the Lovings' victory as a precedent for their cause, the Loving case didn't alter the definition of marriage but affirmed it by allowing any man to marry any woman. The nation is indebted to Mildred for a legacy that so aptly lives up to the couple's shared name."

There are at least two critical things to keep in mind while reading this. First, the embarrassing, then the meat. It's not just "homosexual activists" who see parallels in the Loving case--it's Mildred herself. On June 12, 2007, the 40th anniversary of the Loving case (a decision handed down just months before MLK was killed in Memphis, by the by), Mildred penned a public statement that included these liberal sentiments (full PDF here; italics mine):
Evan Derkacz, managing editor of Religion Dispatches, was an editor and writer for the award-winning web magazine,, from 2003-2007. Previously, he was Tikkun magazine's media coordinator. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's, AlterNet, and Start Making Sense (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004). He has been interviewed on Air America and Pacifica Radio.
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