From the Associated Press, Wednesday afternoon:
"The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution," said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2003. "A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law."
In response, Hatch fumed: "Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?"
Like that would be something new, let alone impossible, Orrin?
n : the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot [syn: dogmatism]
So just off the top of my non-collegiate head:
The Missouri Compromise...yes, it's 186 years old, or 156 depending on which clauses you'd care to examine, but it's bigotry at it's finest!
I'm sure there are other examples of legislation; that just happens to be the one I'm familiar with.
Of course, as far as bigoted Senators go, does anyone remember Strom Thurmond?
"...Thurmond supported racial segregation with the longest filibuster ever conducted by a single Senator on the Senate floor, speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes in an unsuccessful attempt to derail the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Southern Senators, who had agreed as part of a compromise not to filibuster this bill, were upset with Thurmond because they thought his solo filibuster made them look bad to their constituents.
On September 16, 1964; Thurmond, increasingly at odds with the national Democratic party over racial integration switched his party affiliation, becoming a Republican. In 1964 South Carolina and other states of the Deep South, white segregationists supported Goldwater instead of Johnson, whose support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and integration rankled the segregationists."
All of that while paying an African-American woman to raise the child he had (out of wedlock) with her!
My favorite story of a bigoted (though this time it's actually a chauvinist) Senator goes back to the Civil War. It seems that a Senator made a comment on the floor of the Senate about the wife of a Union cavalry General, much decorated and favored for his service. She had joined him at an encampment, and the Senator opined that any woman who did that could be no better than one of "Hooker's girls" (I'm paraphrasing across several years since I read this story). The quote made the newspaper with the general's name and that of his wife; the general happened to be in D.C. at that moment, and that evening the Senator received a thorough thrashing as he took his evening stroll.
Though I'm not a violent person, and try not to even consider violence an alternative, I imagine that Senator thought twice before he made a snide comment about another man's wife (in public anyway)!
I am sure that Strom Thurmond and a lot of other people from "the south" considered the entire Supreme Court to be activist when the following was read:
"On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the decision of the unanimous Court:
"We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does...We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
That's from Brown vs. Board, the Supreme Court decision that began the desegregation of the school system. It did nothing for the rest of the "Jim Crow" laws, of course. It did nothing for those who had been promised that they could vote 90 years earlier. It did nothing for those who fell in love with someone outside their race...
Someday these attempts to pass legislation defining marriage will be looked back on in the same light those "Jim Crow" laws are now. I hope I live to see that day!