The state's rights issue surrounded the issue of slavery as you correctly note. But let's look a little deeper. Slavery itself, at it's core, is an issue of one group of people, generally a majority, subjugating the rights of another group of people, generally a minority. Sound familiar? Men subjugating women led first to suffrage and later to the women's movement. White folks subjecting black folks led first to the Civil War, then segregation and separate but equal which was anything but as history proved and finally to the struggles of the 1960's and to the civil rights act.<quoted text>
Although abolitionists had been strong voices throughout the North for decades, the South's increasing demands for greater state sovereignty with less restriction (especially regarding cotton & sugar trade to/from Europe) from Washington D.C. was the fuel that stoked flames that ultimately led to the Civil War's beginning at Ft. Sumter SC. If a battle over state's rights instigated the bloodiest war in American history, beware folks...it can happen again!
The south went to war and they lost. But lose or win the north, largely against slavery, had the morally superior argument. A minority people should not be subjugated to the wishes of a majority. Slavery was fundamentally a moral crime and should not be permitted in the United States.
Over the years many INequalities have been addressed and corrected, most times by the court. Without the Civil Rights Act the vast majority of "people" in the south would not have allowed black folks greater freedoms.
Just because people vote against rights for gay people doesn't make them right. People subjugate other people usually for illogical reasons based on fear or animus or both.
The argument over time has been and still is very simple: All citizens of this country should have the same rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. Period. That philosophy, codified in law, primarily in Article 4 sections 1 and 2 and Article 14 section 1, is the reason a couple married in Tennessee are still married if they move to California. Or a driver's license issued in Pennsylvania can be used to drive all over the country.
Fundamentally treating one group of people differently because you don't like some aspect of them or their life is just plain wrong. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong. Sometimes the federal government needs to stand up and tell people and states they are wrong, just like in the 1960's when the federal government told George Wallace and people across the south they were wrong and segregation and discrimination against black folks was wrong and was going to end.
To denigrate and vilify gay people is to put the U.S. on a par with the likes of Russia and Uganda and North Korea and Iran. Not exactly beacons of justice.
So I'm sorry but states rights are not the end all and be all.
PEOPLE'S rights....CITIZENS's rights trump state's right.