By Roger Stone When I read in the morning paper about a Republican endorsing freedom, I generally know everything is right in the universe. This morning, I read that Dick Cheney supports same sex marriage. In a speech at the National Press Club Monday, the former vice president told the audience that he believes homosexuals have a right to marry. ?I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone,? he said, and freedom, he believes, includes the right of people to ?enter into any kind of union they wished.? Despite his laudatory position, he inserted the great disclaimer. The issue should ultimately be left to the States, he said. Republicans should recognize this argument for what it is: a cop out. The reason they do not is because many conservatives fail to recognize same sex marriage as an issue of equality. The Tenth Amendment states that ?the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.? Conservatives have always considered themselves stewards of states? rights because they correctly equate a powerful federal government with less freedom for the people. Government is naturally intrusive; therefore the less of it the better. However, the reservation of states? rights was not intended as a States-know-best clause; rather it was meant as a necessary limitation on federal power. After the abolition of slavery, the South very quickly taught the federal government the difference between freedom and equality. All men were created equal in the Declaration of Independence; sadly, they were not created equal in the States. The federal government had no actual grant of constitutional power to exercise over state-sanctioned inequality, and, according to the 10th, in the absence of a delegation of power from the Constitution to the federal government or a prohibition to the States, power is reserved to the States. In other words, ?States? rights? contained the glaring loophole through which segregation slipped. The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment rectified that, on paper at least, and Americans have been embarrassed about it ever since. Therefore, history informs us that, without some guarantee of equality, freedom does not necessarily mean freedom for all. Same sex marriage is an issue of equality. Everyone of legal competence is free to enter into the union of marriage because marriage is a fundamental right bundled up in our notion of what freedom is, even if it took a Supreme Court decision to make it so, but everyone does not have the right to enter into a union of his or her choice. Therefore, Republicans cannot take shelter in states? rights and plausibly contend that freedom means freedom for all. If we want freedom for all, we must be prepared to grant equality to homosexuals as a constitutional imperative. The Republic will still stand.