I often agree with David Brooks’ opinions but “How not to advance gay marriage” isn’t one of them. Yes, I’m a lawyer. I became a lawyer because courts are better than street fights to resolve individual disputes. Brooks believes the dispute between a gay couple and a wedding cake baker is “abstract” and “could (better) be addressed in conversation and community.” Then why have laws? I define our civilization as the voluntary agreement to follow a set of rules adopted by our elected representatives, and enforced by our courts. There is nothing wrong with Brooks’ suggestion that aggrieved individuals try to win the hearts and minds of those who disagree with them. That’s how and why we campaign and vote for our legislators. But Brooks’ analogies (“iron fist of the state,” “elitist,” “depersonalize,” “angels dancing on the head of a pin”) are all subjective epithets designed to antagonize the reader. Courts resolve disputes and interpret the law. And their decisions become a part of the national conversation and a guide for our community behavior. Without the courts and their sometimes disagreeable decisions, we are all at risk of rogue behavior by those we cannot convince with sweetness and light.
Ken Bresin, Caldwell
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