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'Freedom Federation' prepares to defy marriage equality

Tony Perkins and James Dobson
Tony Perkins and James DobsonGetty Images

The more I think about this, the less sense it makes (thanks to R.M. for the heads-up).

A coalition of social conservative activists say that they'll defy any Supreme Court ruling that comes down in favor of same-sex marriage, though it's so far unclear how they would do so.

As Raw Story first pointed out, over 200 conservative activists released a letter under the name "Freedom Federation," writing that "Like many other concerned Americans, we await the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States on two cases which open up the possibility that the institution of marriage will be further undermined by a judicial opinion. We pledge to stand together to defend marriage as what it is, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children."

More specifically, the letter from the "Federation" goes on to say, "While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross."

The list of far-right voices signing onto this is not short, and includes some high-profile heavy hitters in the religious right movement: Ralph Reed, Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Ken Blackwell, Franklin Graham, Bill Donohue, and Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R), among many others.

What I don't understand is what, exactly, the "Federation" intends to do. I don't really expect the Supreme Court to approve marriage equality for every state, but if the justices take that step, what difference does it make if these 200+ activists and movement leaders consider it a line they "will not cross"? Neither the court nor anyone else needs their permission.

As best as I can tell, unless any of the "Freedom Federation" signatories are actually sitting justices on the U.S. Supreme Court -- they're not -- why would anyone give a darn what they can or cannot "endure'?

Unless these folks are planning to literally move to some other country if the Supreme Court says marriage rights apply to everyone, including same-sex couples, their bluster rings hollow. If, however, they are vowing to leave the United States because they can't "endure" living in a country that extends marriage rights to all, that would be interesting.