In what will surely become one of the most commented upon and controversial decisions in its history, the United States Supreme Court yesterday struck a blow for individual freedom and dignity when it lifted all of the remaining state bans on gay marriage. Adult citizens of the United States are now free to marry whomever they please - regardless of gender.
The vote was five to four, with the usual suspects dissenting: Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito.
That judicial decision will even take effect in Missouri, one of the final thirteen states to ban gay marriage. Governor Jay Nixon of the "show-me" state, a Democrat presiding over a predominantly red state and overwhelmingly red legislature, had this to say:
"Today's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a major victory for equality and an important step toward a fairer and more just society for all Americans. No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. In the coming days I will be taking all necessary and appropriate actions to ensure this decision is implemented throughout the state of Missouri."
And, one must assume, even in Howl County.
Sharon Trowbridge, our Recorder of Deeds (and issuer of marriage licenses) said that she has had several calls on the matter over the last few weeks, and she had one call yesterday seeking information. She is waiting to hear from the attorney for Missouri's Recorders' Association - and expects to be issuing licenses within the next few weeks.
Predictably, every major Republican candidate for President felt obligated to speak out against the Supreme Court decision, with former Arkansas governor and Fox television personality Mike Huckabee being the most bellicose. Huckabee exploded with so much force that he rendered the air nearly unbreathable in several southern states. Republicans are in a box on this one, and it is one of their own construction. They feel the need to kiss up to the evangelical conservatives during primary season by embracing their rampant insanity, but then come time for the general election where some commonsense would be of benefit, they are tasked with the unenviable chore of suddenly and drastically changing positions. (A process the Romney people in 2012 referred to as "shaking the Etch-a-Sketch.")
Poll after poll shows that Americans support gay marriage, and young Americans, in particular, are enthusiastic on the subject. Republican candidates know that, but they can't break free of the lunatic fringe of their party and still win primaries. The clown car is still racing around the track at ninety-to-nothing - headed in the wrong direction!
And while the clowns zoom on, the rest of America can sit back and relax and enjoy the burgeoning equality. The Supreme Court has just made us a better country.