Leave it to the brave acts of individual county clerks in New Mexico and Pennsylvania to show us an additional path to our freedom. In now seven counties in New Mexico that equal well over 60% of the states' population, county clerks are issuing marriage licenses. In Pennsylvania, another county clerk just decided to grant full equality by ignoring state law and embracing the United States Constitution.
The Campaign for Southern Equality is now looking for sympatric county clerks who might be brave enough in the hardcore religious South to issue licenses. Imagine if all over the country county clerks embrace the words of the Supreme Court decision and not repressive state and local laws. All over America in an expedited fashion Judges would have to make rulings to either halt the spread of freedom, hear cases on the constitutionality of the state laws or open marriage equality for all Americans.
Just like the Valentine's Day Revolution in 2004 in San Francisco when thousands lined up to be married after Mayor Newsom opened the doors in City Hall, private citizens and local governmental officials are in the forefront of the battle. Included in that process is fresh ideas and new tactics for our national organizations and leaders to embrace and replicate around the country.
Even in the Alabama Republican Party, the Young Republicans are started to tear down the opposition in the Alabama Republican Party to marriage equality. Slate reports:
The Republican Party has a longstanding reputation for homophobia—which is fitting, given that the vast majority of Republican legislators strive ceaselessly to demean and disadvantage gay people across America.
But the near-uniformity of opinion among Republican representatives obscures an increasingly vocal insurgent faction in the GOP: pro-gay young Republicans. This camp has been in existence for a while—the New York Times even ran a trend-ish piece on them last year—but only recently have they begun to exercise visible influence on their party. The latest evidence of their ascendance comes, of all places, out of Alabama, where controversy arose after the president of the state’s College Republican Federation, Stephanie Petelos, implied her support of marriage equality. In response, the Republican Executive Committee of Alabama considered a proposal to censure her by proscribing any member of the state’s Republican steering committee from publicly opposing the committee’s resolutions.
Because the committee has previously resolved to oppose same-sex marriage, the proposal, if passed, would have effectively expelled Petelos from the state’s Republican apparatus. Instead, however, the committee resoundingly rejected the measure, allowing Petelos to remain while giving the green light to other state Republicans to declare their support of gay rights.
The executive committee’s decision isn’t just good news for gay people—it’s also good news for Republicans. Everyone who isn’t blinded by homophobia knows that the GOP is going to have to change its position on gay rights at some point. The equation is simple: In a country where an ever-growing majority of voters support the rights of gay people, it’s hard to win elections by retreating into anti-gay vitriol. In the short term, the anti-gay strategy obviously maintains some currency. But in the long term, it’s clearly a nonstarter.