An act of de­fi­ance in Alabama

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

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

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