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MailTribune.com
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

  • My response to the March 29 commentary piece by Bruce Ramsey regarding gay marriage is not based upon the merits of the cases cited, nor his own opinions on particular laws, but upon Ramsey's argument that civil rights decisions in law should lag behind public opinion.
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  • My response to the March 29 commentary piece by Bruce Ramsey regarding gay marriage is not based upon the merits of the cases cited, nor his own opinions on particular laws, but upon Ramsey's argument that civil rights decisions in law should lag behind public opinion.
    Such a foot-dragging approach has for most of our history been the acceptable norm, so from that perspective we need have little faith in the protection of minorities from majority "opinion" with respect to civil rights, especially in the context of so-called (and constitutionally nonexistent) "states' rights," and may wish to tone down any rhetoric about the U.S. existing as a "nation of laws." It is, however, not the case today that the court need follow public opinion in terms of constitutional guarantees, but should decide the issue via its most inclusive interpretation as is rationally possible.
    Religious and moral "sensibilities" are meaningless with respect to civil rights as guarantees of freedom of personal expression. So long as any person's civil rights do not inhibit another's to free exercise of the same rights, there is scant legal basis for superiority of niggling public opinion over the spirit and letter of the Constitution. — Gary R. Collins, Jacksonville
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