I understand that there are people who just aren't ever going to approve of gay marriage, just as there are people who aren't ever going to approve of interacial marriage or, for that matter, sport fishing.
But in a recent address, Iowa Rep. Steve King seemed to be lamenting the lack of civil disobedience in fighting gay marriage. He said:
This is, of course, the strategy segregationists used in the south. When the courts ordered the city of Little Rock to integrate its schools, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus used the National Guard to block the entry of black children into white shools, basically saying to the courts -- to use King's words -- 'you made the decision, now you enforce it.' Repugnant though Faubus's stand may have been, it was at least logical. The court required that white and black children go to school together, and by blocking the black children's entry Faubus believed he could prevent tha trequirement from taking effect.
But the legalization of gay marriage doesnt' require anyone to do anything. Marriage is, after all, an entirely voluntary commitment. It's not like the courts are ordering people into gay marriages, and people could defy the court by refusing to get married. And the First Amendment protects churches who choose not to perform or recognize gay marriages, so there's no reason for anyone to build barricades anywhere.
I suppose King could be advocating that county clerks refuse to grant marriage licenses to gays, a fascinating advocacy of lawlessness from someone who writes laws for a living. If that's what King is in favor of, I suggest he look at what happened to Governor Faubus. The court can, despite King's bravado, enforce the law, at least in concert with other branches of government. Unless everyone up to and including the President of the United States is willing to tolerate lawlessness, eventually someone puts a stop to the kind of foolishness King seems to be advocating. The law is, after all, the law.
President Eisenhower was certainly no civil rights radical, but he nonetheless believed enough in the rule of law that he nationalized the Arkansas National Guard, ordered it back to its barracks, and sent in the 101st Airborne Division to clear a path for the kids to go to school. Faubus was humiliated and is reviled by history; Ike has an entire interstate highway system named after him and is remembered as one of the great heroes of the 20th Century.
King, perhaps, yearns to be remembered as Faubus is: as a lawless bigot. That's fine, and count me among the people who consider him thus. But if he thinks there's anything outside the law that can be done to overrule what is clearly a steady march toward the legalization of gay marriage, he's just flat stupid.