An act of defiance in Alabama
The action by some court clerks in Alabama to refuse to issue marriage licenses altogether to avoid implementing the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to legally marry had a familiar ring. Similar acts of defiance in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi are reminiscent of the civil rights struggles of decades ago.
This was the same reaction in Alabama and across the South to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The United States had a simple solution to Southern states that refused to register African American voters: It sent in federal registrars in the 1960s, ’ 70s and ’ 80s. Maybe it is time to send federal agents to issue marriage licenses and ensure enforcement of the Supreme Court’s mandate on equality for all applies to everyone — not just some.
Jonathan M. Smith, Washington