Too clever by half

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In my first read of David Brooks' "Gay marriage a victory for self-sacrifice" (Opinion, April 3), I thought he completely missed the impetus for gay marriage — choice and fairness. He acted as if it was about a desire to limit one's freedoms.

On the second read, I noticed his emphasis on how too much freedom has resulted in a "decaying social fabric, especially among the less fortunate." Whoa, now it sounded like a racist-classist rant, especially how "people spend to satisfy their cravings."

Finally, I read it once more, and decided Brooks used the gay marriage theme to argue for more responsible behavior from all of us, including CEO's salaries, not just the poor spendthrifts. That's a worthwhile argument, but to link it to gay marriage weakens its thrust and distorts the meaning of gay marriage.

Not all women want an abortion, but most of us want it as an option for everyone. Same with marriage. Commitment and responsibility are already there. The reasons are about choice, fairness, love and the many legal advantages accompanying marriage.

Brooks should stick to simple political issues. When he tries to be a clever social scientist he gets off track.

Kathleen Preston Conrad