Saturday, October 08, 2005

Meddling required

In an article titled “A treat for rightwing tots”, Oliver Burkeman introduces Katherine Debrecht’s new book Help Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed to Guardian readers. For those of you unaware of it, the book apparently tells the story of two kids who open up a simple lemonade stand, only to find themselves running afoul of all manner of state regulations and pernicious government bureaucrats. Citing the book as the right’s embarrassing equivalent to the left’s “cringe-inducing” (Burkeman’s words) Heather Has Two Mommies, he sums up with what he presumably thinks is an especially clever observation:
Incidentally, Heather's two mommies wouldn't be able to get married in Debrecht's home state of South Carolina, because the legislature there explicitly banned such unions in 1996. Don't you just hate meddling liberals telling you how to live your life?
Ah yes, the wonderful irony of it.

Except that, isn’t it the case that marriage, an institution with legal status, necessarily involves the state? It seems to me that if two lesbians don’t want the state (or conservatives) meddling in their lives, they shouldn’t be asking it to legally bless their partnership in the first place.


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