Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Something that needed to be said about Gay Marriage and States' Rights

23 May 2008

Something that needed to be said about Gay Marriage and States' Rights

Some people were never fooled by the States' Rights argument

Gay marriage is now legal in California, but other states will not be obligated to recognize these marriages, thanks to the hilariously named Defense of Marriage Act (signed by Bill Clinton, pushed by Thomas Foley, Newt Gingrich, Bob Barr, Bob Livingston, Henry Hyde, David Vitter, and Larry Craig). The act states that while heterosexual marriages performed in one state must be recognized by all states (including Las Vegas quickie marriages conducted by Elvis impersonators), no state is obligated to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

According to antigay bigots, most of whom would favor a federal ban on gay marriage, forcing states to recognize gay marriages would be a violation of States' Rights. Over at Pandagon, Amanda exposes the sophistry at the heart of the states' rights argument:

It’s bizarre watching wingnuts get into a self-righteous huff about the all-important rights of states, when they only care about it when dismissing the fundamental rights of people. Which of course is never explicitly said, but that’s the point of it: “States’ rights” only seem to matter to people who feel the states can do a better job of oppressing the people than the federal government can. Should the federal government take the opportunity to wield power against individual rights—as they did with the federal ban on certain kinds of late term abortions—nary a peep to be heard from the people who have great love for the rights of states, but not for people.

And once you strip away the spurious logic of the bigots, aren't we left with people on one side of the argument asking to be left alone, and people on the other side claiming that their own marriages are threatened not by their own philandering, abuse, and inattentiveness, but by people whom they will never see or speak to? Can't people just mind their own business, instead of constantly looking for ways to make other people miserable?

(cross posted at Liberal Avenger an appletree)


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