Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Yesterday, Lynette and I watched Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Houghton. The movie is about a couple whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter brings home her fiancé, who is black. It’s a great movie and contains one of the most beautiful moments in film history, that is, Spencer Tracy’s soliloquy in which he addresses the nature of love, both new and old. When my high school literature teacher planned a field trip to Santa Barbara to see this movie, I had to get a permission slip from my parents, due to "objectionable content". Amazing...

While watching the movie yesterday, it occurred to me that, with only very few changes, this William Rose screenplay could be remade to depict a young gay or lesbian couple bringing their intended home to meet their parents in 2007.

It’s hard to believe that it was only in 1967 (the year the film was released) that the Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia struck down the last of the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. That was only 40 years ago. Most young people today would have a difficult time believing that interracial marriage was actually illegal in the first place, much less so recently. One hopes and prays that their own grandchildren in 2047 feel the same way about gay marriage.
"But you do know, I'm sure you know, what you're up against. There'll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say "screw all those people"! Anybody could make a case, a hell of a good case, against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happened to have a problem, and I think that now, no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be ifknowing what you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feelyou didn't get married. Well, Tillie, when the hell are we gonna get some dinner?" (Spencer Tracy as Matt Drayton)
We've come a long way, but the fight for civil rights never ends.