40 Years Ago, “All In The Family” Said All That Needs To Be Said About Intolerance

"She didn't hurt you, so why would you want to hurt her?"

A clip from the groundbreaking ’70s sitcom All In the Family is going viral on social media, showing the unprecedented way the show tackled issues relating to LGBT equality and intolerance nearly 40 years before same-sex couples gained the right to legally marry.

The clip, viewed over 2.5 million times since it was posted, tracks the main character Edith (played by Jean Stapleton) as she learns her deceased cousin Liz’s “roommate” Veronica is actually her longtime partner.

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In a subsequent conversation with her husband, series star Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), Edith incredulously explains how Liz and Veronica, both school teachers, could lose their jobs if they ever came out publicly.

When her husband responds by saying lesbians shouldn’t be allowed to be teachers, Edith says, “She didn’t hurt you, so why would you want to hurt her?”

The Emmy-winning episode “Cousin Liz” originally aired on October 9, 1977, just a day before California voters headed to the polls to vote on the Briggs Initiative, which would have barred gays and lesbians from working in the state’s public schools.

Watch the historic clip below:

Tune in to All In the Family weekdays on Logo.

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett