That you two courageous and determined ladies had to go to another state to get married because South Dakota, this so-called "land of infinite variety," falls short of its own ideals is a testament to the power and confidence of your lifelong love affair. The news of your nuptials will be met with the mixed greetings that you're prepared to accept, but nobody in this state will be happier or more supportive of your decision to marry than I am. You two are breaking some important political and philsophical ground in South Dakota, but I'm convinced that you have the support of more than a sizable number of residents here. I believe you have the backing of History itself.
There will be some who reject your matrimonial status on religious grounds. That's their inalienable right as Americans and I'd be the last to insist that they break with their fundamental religious beliefs, which they're free to exercise in the confines of their places of worship. However, if they seek to deny you the basic freedoms of exercising your rights in the public marketplace, I'll be among the first to push back. Some will use the excuse that by denying you commercial goods and services they're merely exercising their own right to stand by their religious beliefs, but that's a load of baloney. Why? Because as taxpayers in a fundamentally secular community (defined as such by the First Amendment to the Constitution), your share of society's burden is to provide public infrastructure and services that make the operation of any business possible in the first place. The very business that would deny you access is the same one that depends on your share of resources to provide it with streets, sidewalks, water and sewer lines, police and fire protection and the marketing efforts of the city itself to keep that enterprise operating. Given that all of us chip in to keep our communities functioning without qualms about who gets the benefit of our taxes, selectively picking and choosing which customers to serve based on their identities and beliefs is not a prerogative.
This is a quid pro quo that is the essential "social contract" among the citizens of any community. Most frustrating to me about those who would circumvent it is the fact that to a one, these folks are in my political party--Republicans. It's as if some of us Pubs have shed the basic principle of Republicanism: "The strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored." It's not "should" be honored, nor "may" be honored--it's "must" be honored. That the Rosenbrahns choose to be married is a choice the two of them made as individuals--it behooves us true Republicans to honor that choice, no matter what we feel about it personally.
I think one of the founders of modern conservative Republicanism, Barry Goldwater, expressed it better than I ever could. In his acceptance speech at the 1964 GOP presidential nominating convention Goldwater said "those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny."
Time for some philosophical soul-searching, fellow South Dakota Republicans? If you're not sure, consider this additional thought from Goldwater's acceptance speech: "The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this Federal system of ours is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity." I think it is indeed time for us Republicans to re-evaluate our basic assumptions, and I extend my gratitude, along with my heartfelt congratulations, to Mrs. and Mrs. Rosenbrahn for making this blessed event the catalyst for some long overdue considerations within the local GOP.