Over at the Washington Post, Abby Phillip has a fun feature about the jaw-dropping multitudes of gay couples who are racing to the altar in Arkansas, where marriage equality is suddenly legal. How do we know gay couples are tripping over each other to get a marriage license while the getting is good? Just take a look at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's "Marriage Licenses" section on Wednesday—and compare it with the same section the day before the gay marriage ruling. That’s a lot of names.
Why is any of this important, aside from the obvious cute factor? Because the Arkansas Supreme Court may be poised to halt gay marriages while the state appeals the initial ruling—leaving the gay couples who have already wed in legal limbo. When a similar situation occurred in Utah, the already married couples became facts on the ground, putting a powerful face to the gay marriage fight and lending urgency to a speedy, pro-equality ruling. It’s simple enough to rule against gay marriage as an abstract principle. But when that ruling is going to nullify the marriages of thousands of loving couples, a moral-minded judge might balk. Besides, many of these couples have kids, and judges can’t ignore—as Justice Anthony Kennedy phrased it during Prop 8 oral arguments—the fact that these children "want their parents to have full recognition and full status."
At the head of the posting is a snapshot of the "Daily Record" column from this week's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, listing the names of all those who have received marriage licenses this week. You'll have to click on the image if you want to see the page close-up, or click the link provided by Stern, pointing to Abby Phillip at the Washington Post. And below: a snapshot of the Dem-Gaz's "Daily Record" column just a week ago.
"Jaw-dropping multitudes . . . racing to the altar in Arkansas" is correct. People long denied the same human rights others have and take for granted are hungry and thirsty for rights. Open any door to them even a tiny crack, and they'll push through it as quickly as possible — and try to shove it wider as they push through.