"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The issue then wasn't gay marriage, but Mormon practices of polygamy and quickie 60-day divorces in Reno, Nev., says historian Kathleen Dalton, author of Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life.
"Roosevelt was a moralist who believed a lot of political questions had moral issues to them," Dalton said. She noted that Roosevelt was opposed to birth control and campaigned against divorce and in favor of public flogging of wife-beaters.
In his State of the Union address in 1906, Roosevelt urged Congress to tackle the marriage question, even though the federal government traditionally had left social matters to the states.
"I am well aware of how difficult it is to pass a constitutional amendment," Roosevelt told lawmakers.
"Nevertheless, in my judgment the whole question of marriage and divorce should be relegated to the authority of the national Congress ... and surely there is nothing so vitally essential to the welfare of the nation, nothing around which the nation should so bend itself to throw every safeguard, as the home life of the average citizen. The change would be good from every standpoint."
Dalton said Congress had little taste for the matter, and it soon died in committee.
More on the Roosevelt proposal to regulate marriage has been posted at the History News Network by TR biographer Dalton, herself a supporter of same-sex weddings.