Marriage and Civic Equality
President Bush tells us that marriage between a man and a woman is a pillar of our civilization. Yet long before same-sex marriage debates, who could marry and what marriage meant were contested. Slaves could not marry. For many years interracial marriage was illegal. And if marriage has been a bulwark of our civilization, that civilization has struggled for gender equality. Women had to fight for the right to divorce, and coercive sex within a marriage was not treated as rape.