On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on the case of Loving v. Virginia. In Loving, the High Court unanimously ruled that anti-miscegenation marriage laws were unconstitutional. In his opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
A convenient reminder from the Fourteenth Amendment:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I'm sure that in the eyes of many of the citizens of many of the fourteen states that had standing laws restricting the right to marry at the time Loving came down, the ruling that overturned those laws did not represent majority rule or opinion. It was, nevertheless, the correct ruling, rooted firmly in the Constitution in both spirit and letter, and in accord with basic ethics. The "mixed-race" couples in question were not asking to be granted any "special rights," nor was the Court granting any. It was merely acknowledging and guaranteeing their existing rights as citizens under the Constitution.
So how, Constitutionally or ethically, is same-sex marriage different?
The motivation behind every press to restrictively define marriage, in a Constitutional amendment or anywhere else, stems from an awareness that there is no Constitutional basis for denying any two people the right to marry. What basis proponents of restrictive marriage have for their view is not a legal one, nor is it objective or rational. They'll say that their basis is moral; it is not, however, ethical.
I'm just sayin'.