The Corner

“Their Own Government”?

Andrew Sullivan writes: “Just as we can now get real pictures from liberation in Iraq, so we can get real pics of the first gay Americans to have their love and commitment solemnized by their own government. Thousands of them. In an act of civil disobedience. Yes, I know this is breaking the law. But Rosa Parks broke the law as well.”

Andrew’s support for law-breaking has already been addressed by Stanley (though when a school in Kentucky or Alabama or wherever decides to defy the state and teach creationism or the “curability” of homosexuality, I somehow doubt he’ll be as jazzed for civil disobedience).

But, I should also point out that from the stories I’ve seen, a great many (I don’t know if it’s a majority or not) of the couples getting “married” in San Francisco are from out of town and out of state. So when Andrew says their love and commitment are being solemnized by their own government he’s factually wrong. These couples are having their love and commitment solemnized by “a government” — illegally. This isn’t a trivial point, since Andrew and others — including me — place so much importance on Federalism and the ability of people to determine the rules for their own communities. Well, the couples from North Carolina aren’t moving to San Francisco. They’re grabbing some paperwork to press their case in Raleigh or Durham. That’s a different scenario.


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