"We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it," - Justice Henry Billings Brown's 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson

"Requiring the same substantive legal rights is, in my view, a matter of equal protection. But this does not mean the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional... The people are entitled to preserve this traditional understanding in the terminology of the law, recognizing that same-sex and opposite-sex unions are different. What they are not entitled to do is treat them differently under the law," - Carol Corrigan, a dissenter to the California court's decision to grant civil marriage licenses to gay couples as well as straight ones.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.