Conservative warnings that gay marriage would somehow destroy the institution of marriage always seemed to founder when it came to the mechanism by which said destruction would occur. Would the marital coin become so devalued that straights would stop getting married? Would they continue to get married but take their marital vows more lightly?

Evidently not. Rather, judging from the example of three California counties, the institution of marriage will take a hit because, in protest of the state court's ruling on same-sex marriage, conservative county clerks will refuse to perform any weddings, for couples gay or straight. In Kern County, the Board of Supervisors is planning to consider an ordinance that would prevent the clerk from even issuing marriage licenses.

"Pro-family" politics, circa 2008.

(via Steve Benen)

--Christopher Orr