In 1960, virtually every black person in America, either was
directly--and immediately--affected by housing segregation or directly knew
someone who was. To the extent that this was true of interracial marriage, it
wasn't just true of black people, but white people too. In other words, whatever
the justness of the fight for interracial marriage, it was never "a black issue"
in the way that, say, voting rights in the South were.
between gay marriage and the Civil Rights movement may put-off some--some--African-Americans because it misstates the context of Loving vs.
Virginia. My sense is that most blacks supported the movement not because they wanted the right
to marry white people, but because they wanted the right to compete with them. Indeed, for almost a century blacks actively
resisted the notion that civil right equaled interracial marriage, because racists
had repeatedly clubbed the movement with charges of miscegenation. Note that in
all the protests you see during the Civil Rights movement, very little of it is
organized around interracial marriage.
Much worse, the comparison with interracial marriage actually understates the evil of reserving marriage rights for certain classes of people. Banning interracial marriage meant that most black people could not marry outside of their race. This was morally indefensible, but very different than a total exclusion of gays from the institution of marriage. Throughout much of America, gays are effectively banned from marrying, not simply certain types of people, but any another compatible partner period. Unlike heterosexual blacks in 1960, the ban gays suffer under is unconditional and total and effectively offers one word for an entire sector of Americans--Die. For evading that ban means virtual--if not literal--suicide.
A more compelling analogy would be a law barring blacks, not from marrying other whites, but effectively from marrying anyone at all. In fact we have just such an analogy. In the antebellum South, the marriages of the vast majority of African-Americans, much like gays today, held no legal standing. Slavery is obviously, itself, a problem--but abolitionists often, and
accurately, noted that among its most heinous features was its utter disrespect
for the families of the enslaved. Likewise, systemic homophobia is, itself, a problem--but
among its most heinous features is its utter disrespect for the families formed
by gays and lesbians. Of course African-Americans, gay and straight, in 1810
lacked many other rights that gays, of all colors, today enjoy. Thus, to state the obvious, being born
gay is not the same as being born a slave. But the fact is that in 1810, the vast
majority of African-Americans--much like the vast majority of gays in 2010--lacked
the ability to legally marry.