The rights at stake are those related to association, property, privacy, and religious exercise. For those of us who are socialists, this presents an important political dilemma, namely how to guard those qualities of capitalism that allow for individual diversity while jettisoning its inequities, exploitation, waste, and ugliness. The countries that have implemented such a system, from the Soviet Union to Tanzania to Venezuela, have been rather less successful at sustaining both prosperity and personal freedom than the capitalist countries. Capitalism freed people from feudalism and from the family farm. A member of one religious or racial or ethnic group should not be required, against his or her will, to associate with members of other groups. A specialist in the history of race and slavery, he has recently published a new book, Stand by Me:
Leave the federal courts out of it.
Today we celebrate the late Richard and Mildred Loving, and their lawyers, and the victory that they won for all Americans. Jim Downs is a historian at Connecticut College and Harvard. By David Boaz.
Similarly, some states dispense benefits to qualifying gay couples joined in predefined civil unions.