After Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions deemed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and dismissed California’s same-sex marriage ban (Proposition 8), George Takei is sharing his thoughts on the historic day.
In an editorial written for the Washington Post, Takei explains that DOMA being ruled unconstitutional ends “ick.”
“Whenever one group discriminates against another – keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an intuition – it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the ‘ick’,” the 76-year-old Star Trek actor explains.
He continues, “For more than 70 years, I’ve watched the ‘ick’ infect American life in a variety of ways and concluded that it’s little more than a function of unfamiliarity. … Even I was taken aback the first time I saw two men being affectionate in public. The ‘ick’ runs deep, instill unease even in those for whom an act is natural.”
But Takei adds the “ick” factor reaches farther than the LGBT community, pointing out a “white person didn’t kiss a black person on American television until 1968” and when the actor was growing up in California, it was “illegal for Asians and whites to marry.”
While these anti-miscegenation laws seem outrageous today, Takei believes future generations will have the same reaction to the DOMA debate.
“Future generations will shake their heads at how narrow, fearful and ignorant we sounded today debating DOMA,” he writes. “Happily the majority of our justices understood this and did not permit the ‘ick’ to stick.”
Takei revealed he was gay in 2005, telling the Associated Press at the time, “The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay.” In 2008, Takei wed Brad Altman, his partner of 21 years.