The second is that it is a far healthier thing for that challenge to take place on the battleground of civil society rather than in the courts and legislatures. There is, after all, an almost infinite gradation of moral distinction between the views of well-intentioned people who do not wish to cater a gay wedding because of religious considerations and the odious, malicious position of Westboro Baptist et al. The courts and legislatures are poorly equipped to make those fine distinctions, but civil society has the ability to distinguish between an honorable disagreement and ill will. Americans are generous and good-hearted people who give every indication of being well-disposed toward letting their gay neighbors go about their private affairs with liberty and dignity, independent of what their policy preferences are in terms of marriage and related issues. I trust Americans at large to make the necessary distinctions much more than I trust the political institutions to do so.
“Live and let live” implies a two-way relationship. Mutual respect is an attitude that, like the biblical leaven, has to be mixed in thoroughly and evenly, until the whole is leavened.
carolee on Cookin’ with Julia