More often than not, I am willing to defer to the judgement of someone with more experience in a given field than I. Dahlia Lithwick has very succinctly laid out the Republican disavowal of Michael Schiavo's marriage right to speak for Terri. I did my best to write the same things earlier, its simply nice to see the way a professional would put it. Andrew Sullivan (from whom I found this article) points out how civil marriage is sacred only when Theocons (his term) find it expedient.
This afternoon I was listen to Sean Hannity interview former judge Roy Moore, the Alabama(?) Supreme Court Chief Justice ousted for refusing a federal court order about his Ten Commandments display, when the point was made by someone about how absurd it is that one person should have the power of life or death over Terri. It is not just anyone, it is her husband. They tried to make the point that someone who got a quickie Vegas marriage would be hostage to their recently met spouse's will in this type of situation. Well, yes, they would. That is part of the responsibility one takes in getting married, wisely or not. Granted, Michael is hardly the most sterling example of a husband. If we were all to forget about Michael other than he is Terri's husband, I still don't believe that the religious right would be making any less noise.
I heard on another, locally hosted radio show (Al Rantel for those in the KABC area), in an interview with Ann Coulter, that feminists are absent from the discussion because they are on the horns of a dilemna. If they speak up for Terri's wishes, then they would be complicit in aiding a ne'er-do-well husband. If they join the fight for her life, then they have to admit to pushing back the definition of life to weaker states, thereby threatening their pro-choice rhetoric.
I think that right-to-life conservatives find themselves in a similar bind. If they do not fight to keep her alive at all costs, then they would be weakened by acknowledging a not-quite-alive state as being inferior to totally alive, thereby weaking their anti-abortion position.
So, for them, life above all else is the mantra. All else, including the definition of marriage, be damned.
By the way, for the religiously minded, Andrew Sullivan also links to an article by a Catholic theologian who calls to task the "life always better" position. Just something else to think about.