Nobody gets to vote on anyone's marriage any longer!
It's sad to see the Republican presidential scrum defaulting to the position that marriage equality should have been decided state by state. There's a history to that sort of appeal:
- When the more populous and prosperous section of the nation turned against slavery in the 1840s and '50s, Southern slave interests turned to state nullification and then secession preserve their property in human beings.
- Having lost their war for slavery, the same forces claimed "states' rights" for their imposition of segregation and disempowerment on their Black populations.
- When the Black civil rights movement rose up against continuing repression in the 1950s and '60s, Southern governors claimed "states' rights" to exempt their region from providing equal opportunity and justice under law.
We might imagine and even hope that federalism could be something other than a shield that protects privilege and inequality. But that is not how our history has worked.