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10/03/2012

Separation of church and license plate

by Jeremy Hooper

The Minnesotan who wrote this line meant for it to be anti–civil marriage equality for qualified same-gender couples:

If the state can regulate who should have a driver's license, surely it should regulate who can marry (e.g., only those over a certain age, not from the same family, and, yes, only two people of the opposite gender). [SOURCE]

His argument actually helps us instead.

Yes, the state does regulate driver's licensing. Yes, the state does regulate civil marriage licensing. Operative phrase in both cases: the state. Not the church. Not the personal whims of a certain faith view. Not popularity contests. Not flawed arguments about reproduction and child rearing. But the state.


Is a team, largely led by Catholics, waging a campaign wherein they pit personal theology against the civil licensing of certain, otherwise qualified drivers?

Is this team, in its fury to keep certain citizens unlicensed, bringing up arguments about ancillary elements like whether or not the car has satellite radio or chooses to park in a garage?

Is this effort still trafficking in fear rhetoric about what more cars on the road will supposedly do to the sanctity of the American family, even thought legally licensed counterparts in other states have already belied their hyperbole?

Is it even okay to vote on the civil licensing rights of a minority population of drivers, subjecting deserved freedoms to majority tyranny?


Within the obvious and resounding "NO!" that logically follows all of the above queries lies the problem with both the letter-writer's supposedly solid talking point and his larger "protect marriage" cause.

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