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Opening Arguments

Courting trouble

For those opposed to the Supreme Court's gay-marriage edict, presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has the right reaction:

The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country.

Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today’s decision.

The Court did not and could not end this debate today. Let us continue to show tolerance for those whose opinions and sincerely held beliefs differ from our own. We must lead by example, finding a way to respect one another and to celebrate a culture that protects religious freedom while promoting equality under the law.

And Ted Cruz had the wrong one:

Ted Cruz has some unsolicited advice for the states not specifically named in last week’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage: Ignore it.

“Those who are not parties to the suit are not bound by it,” the Texas Republican told NPR News’ Steve Inskeep in an interview published on Monday. Since only suits against the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky were specifically considered in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which was handed down last Friday, Cruz — a former Supreme Court clerk — believes that other states with gay marriage bans need not comply, absent a judicial order.

I'm not quite sure how advocating lawlessness is going to advance the fight against a Supreme Court one regards as lawless. Conservatives are usually the ones speaking the loudest about obeying the laws we don't like while trying to change them. I certainly don't always like or agree with the Supreme Court's decisions, but the fact is that when it speaks it is with the force of law. And Fiorina is right about what's ahead. The court has created a terrific tension between the forces of tolerance and religious liberty, and anybody who loses sight of that is in danger of being on the losing side of the argument. Focus, Ted!