Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson, a vocal opponent of marriage equality, spoke to Sandy Rios of the American Family Association today about the controversy over “religious freedom” measures in states like Indiana and Arkansas. During the interview, Anderson took issue with gay rights supporters who assert that businesses that cite moral reasons to deny services to same-sex couples aren’t acting all that differently from businesses that denied services to interracial couples by claiming that such relationships were immoral and unnatural.
While anti-miscegenation laws were implemented throughout the United States for centuries until the Supreme Court struck them down in 1967, and it wasn’t until fairly recently that a majority of Americans began to accept that interracial relationships are moral (many, and disproportionately white evangelicals, still do not believe so), Anderson suggested that interracial marriage opponents never really held sway.
“What does race have to do with marriage?” he asked. “Absolutely nothing. And no great thinker at any point in human history ever said race had anything to do with marriage.”
Well, they may not be the greatest thinkers of human history, but plenty of leaders of the Religious Right movement believed that the Bible required them to oppose interracial marriage. Bob Jones said that any “Bible-believing Christian” would oppose interracial marriage, Jerry Falwell preached against it, and Jesse Helms — who has been honored by Anderson’s own group — “got his political start by bashing interracial marriage.”
Anderson then went one step further, insisting that gay rights advocates are the ones acting like the opponents of interracial marriage.
“For the past generation, there have been a bunch of lies told in the public schools and in the media, lots of propaganda, but propaganda can’t win in the long run. In the long-run, the truth wins out,” Anderson said. “In the same way when there were some racists who tried to say that you can’t have interracial marriage, that was propaganda, it was a lie, and it failed. In the same way, trying to eliminate that marriage is about uniting the two halves of humanity, not black and white, because that’s not the two halves of humanity, the two halves of humanity, male and female, husband and wife, mom and dad, you can’t erase that, and in the long run the truth will win out.”