But if somebody came with a clear message and said, "Look, you just want government out of your life and so the states can decide."
Look, you want gay marriage in California, that's great. Let California be California. Let Tennessee be Tennessee.
Just stop arguing about these things. That's for the state to decide. What we need to do is just protect and defend the United States. We just need to make sure that there are roads and everybody is operating honestly with each other.
OK, a certain kind of federalism. It's a position with a pedigree and a following. But I have a hard time accepting aspects of the position as a principle, although I accept the reality of it pragmatically. On principle, most politically active GLBT people support full marriage equality, hate crimes legislation, employment non-discrimination laws, etc. As a practical matter, one has no choice but to adapt to the political culture in which one lives and advance what can be advanced. So it's not a question of letting Tennessee be Tennessee. Tennessee will be Tennessee whether one likes it or not. I happen to like living here, so I work for what is possible within the political culture of the state. But that doesn't mean that I accept there will be no change. With generational change, a global media culture, and the movement of more and more people into the state, political changes will come. The activist's job is to help shape them towards equality.