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08/27/2014 01:18 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Spencer Tracy's Awesome Argument for Gay Marriage

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This weekend I watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, one of the all-time great movies. Released in 1967, it concerns an upper middle-class couple (Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy) whose liberalism is challenged when their daughter brings home a black fiancé (Sidney Poitier).

At the end of the movie, the character played by Spencer Tracy makes a speech to the young couple. The conclusion of that famous speech is below.

Remind you of any other issue with which our country, despite all humanity, morality, and plain common sense, continues to struggle?

[Y]ou do know -- I'm sure you know -- what you're up against. There'll be a hundred million people right here in this country who'll be shocked and offended and appalled at the two of you. And the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You can try to ignore those people, or you can feel sorry for them and for their prejudices and their bigotry and their blind hatreds 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, and 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 happen to have a pigmentation 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 if -- knowing what you two are, knowing what you two have, and knowing what you two feel -- you didn't get married.

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