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Reader's View: Don't take away freedom to defend freedom

The News Tribune on June 4 published an article about a court case brought against a baker by a wronged gay couple ("Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who would not make wedding cake for gay couple"). The article reported assurances from justices that this same ruling (exonerating the baker) may not apply in future cases concerning sexual orientation and that the justices only overturned a lower court's ruling because of the extremely insulting way the Colorado Equal Rights Commission treated the baker.

In other words, it's now our manners and the court's self-constraint that may determine discrimination cases — when allowing a baker to deny two gay customers their constitutional rights? Am I really hearing this argument from our own Supreme Court?

The same defense might now be used by someone who slanders another, based on whether the other party becomes angry or rude in response to that slander? So, natural anger now nullifies facts? Wow!

The Supreme Court's assurance that other cases might be decided differently was pitiful justification for ignoring the current federal tolerance for same-sex couples. In the court's ruling against Defense of Marriage Act, justices already upheld the rights of same-sex couples.

Excuse me, but if I become incensed that a criminal stole my property, can't I be understandably angered? And when Colorado officials became angry because a law they clearly understood was tested needlessly by someone who denied the constitutional rights of an oppressed minority, shouldn't they have been angry, too? Shouldn't the courts expect anger, even from litigators? Whatever happened to the understanding that defending one person's freedoms does not justify taking them away from others?

Being polite is nice, but its absence should not pardon those who ignore federal law.

Peter W. Johnson