By Anjuli Kolb

“If a same sex marriage bill comes to the desk of Governor Christie, it will be returned to the legislature with a big red veto on it.” New Jersey Governor elect Chris Christie remembering his Hester Prynne in 2009. New Jersey and Washington State legislatures both passed of marriage equality bills on Monday.

“The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.” The court’s opinion inLoving v. Virginia, 1967.

“The gem belongs on the ring, standing proud and broad. The stream belongs among the waves, mingling with the ocean flood...The bear belongs on the heath, old and awesome...The female, the woman, must visit her lover with secret cunning—if she has no wish to prosper among her people so that someone will purchase her with rings.” Anglo Saxon wisdom poem Maxims II

Let Me Recite What History Teaches (LMRWHT) is a weekly column that flashes the lavalamp, gaslight, candlelight, campfire, torch, sometimes even the starlight of the past on something that is happening now. The form of the column strives to recover what might be best about the “wide-eyed presentation of mere facts.” Each week you will find here some citational constellation, offered with astonishment and without comment, that can serve as an end in itself, dinner party fodder, or an occasion for further thought or writing. The title is taken from the last line of Stein’s poem “If I Told Him (A Completed Portrait of Picasso)."

Photograph of Mildred and Richard Loving by Grey Villet, via Time Magazine