With a potentially precedent-setting legal challenge to California's Proposition 8 working its way through the federal court system, the National Constitution Center presents a timely program on the issue of same-sex marriage. Last November, California voters approved the Proposition 8 ballot measure, amending their state Constitution to ban marriages between same-sex couples. A lawsuit filed on behalf of two gay couples wishing to marry has attracted national attention.
David Boies, one of the leading lawyers in the case, is joined in a conversation by Keith Boykin, Maggie Gallagher and Glenn Stanton. Margot Adler moderates.
Margot Adler is a National Public Radio correspondent based in NPR's New York Bureau. Her reports can be heard regularly on "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and "Weekend Edition." She has been with NPR since 1979 and worked in radio journalism for 40 years. Until June 2008, she hosted NPR's "Justice Talking," a weekly show that explored the cases and controversies that come before our nation's courts.
Adler is the author of two books, Drawing Down the Moon, a study of contemporary nature religions and Heretic's Heart, a 1960s memoir. In 1982 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
David Boies is a founder of and the chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner. This year, with Theodore Olson, he successfully argued in federal court for the overturning of Proposition 8, California's ban of same-sex marriage. He previously served as lead counsel to Al Gore in his litigation relating to the 2000 Presidential election and as special trial counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in its successful antitrust suit against Microsoft. In 2004, he published "Courting Justice."
Keith Boykin is the editor of The Daily Voice online news site, a CNBC contributor, a BET TV host, and a New York Times best-selling author. He served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton.
Each of Boykin's three books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America. Boykin won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul. He is an associate producer of the 2007 feature film "Dirty Laundry" and is working on his fourth book.
Maggie Gallagher is president of the National Organization for Marriage, which the Washington Post recently called the "pre-eminent organization dedicated to preventing the legalization of same-sex marriage." NOM is widely credited with getting Proposition 8 on the ballot. She is also president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (www.marriagedebate.com).
Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, the author of three books on marriage, including The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better-Off Financially.
Glenn T. Stanton
Glenn T. Stanton is the Director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs as well as directing a major research project on international family formation trends at la Institut du Mariage et de la Famille Canada. He served the George W. Bush administration for many years as a consultant on increasing fatherhood involvement in the Head Start program.
Stanton is a founding signatory of the new Hampton Proclamation, a cooperative effort of diverse leaders launched by the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting at Hampton University with the goal of strengthening marriage and married parenting in the African-American community. He has contributed to eight books and is the author of three including Why Marriage Matters: Reasons to Believe in Marriage in Postmodern Society and Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting. He is currently completing Beyond Pink and Blue, about the significance of sex-difference in child development and parenting.
David Boies, one of the high profile lawyers who filed the suit, discusses the Proposition 8 federal trial. Referring to the history of marriage precedents, Boies says the equal protection argument should also apply to legalizing same-sex marriage.
A panel debates the constitutionality of the legal restrictions on same-sex marriage, referencing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.
Civil-rights movement that advocates equal rights for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. Supporters of gay rights seek to eliminate sodomy laws barring homosexual acts between consenting adults and call for an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, credit, lending, housing, marriage, adoption, public accommodations, and other areas of life. The first group to campaign publicly was founded in Berlin in 1897 by Magnus Hirschfeld (18681935) and had 25 local chapters in Europe by 1922; suppressed by the Nazis, it did not survive World War II. The first U.S. support group, the Mattachine Society, was founded in Los Angeles c. 1950; the Daughters of Bilitis, for lesbians, was founded in San Francisco in 1955. The Dutch Association for the Integration of Homosexuality COC, founded as the COC (Cultuur en Ontspannings Centrum [Culture and Recreation Center]) in 1946 and headquartered in Amsterdam, is a prominent European group and the oldest existing gay rights organization. Many date the expansion of the modern gay rights movement to the Stonewall rebellion in New York City in 1969, when a raid by police on a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn provoked a riot by bar patrons. Stonewall came to be commemorated annually by the observance of Gay and Lesbian Pride Week in cities around the world. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (founded 1978), headquartered in Brussels, lobbies for human rights and opposes discrimination against homosexuals. Although the movement is strongest in western Europe and North America, gay rights organizations exist in many countries throughout the world. Among the major issues pressed by gay rights advocates in the 1990s and into the 21st century were the passage of hate crime laws and the establishment of legal rights for homosexuals to marry, adopt children, and serve openly in the military.
I'm surprised that no one asked Maggie the obvious question. She kept saying that children do best when they are raised by their own father and mother. Well ... yeah, I'm sure everyone agrees with that; but what does it have to do with the subject of the debate? What is the scenario Maggie has in mind? Does she think that if same-sex marriage is legalized gays will sneak into the homes of heterosexuals and steal their children? Those same-sex couples who chose to have children will ADOPT them. Those children would have been put up for adoption regardless of whether there is same-sex marriage or not--so what exactly is her point?
The gay marriage issue is a complete false paradigm. We shouldn't be looking whether we agree with gay marriage or otherwise, the issue is whether government should be involved in marriage period. People should be able to contract with whom they like and have it blessed by religion if they like. Government Free Marriage now.
The gay marriage issue is a complete false paradigm. We shouldn't be looking whether we agree with gay marriage or otherwise, the issue is whether government should be involved in marriage period. Government Free Marriage now
Maggie, is a moron. I wouldn't read one of her books, if it is as boring as she was on this. Seems to me, she is trying to play "Victim" so I ask her this, How many STR* women/men give up there children? Who is adopting them? it's the gay people, (gay families).
I would like to research Maggie, and I would probably find that she is a boring person, trying to keep other people from being Happy. Prop 8 is CALI, is stupid. And this whole Program, is boring, it doesn't answer real questions about Gay life, and the reason's, people should stick to who they are, worry about what is going on in their families, and stop worrying about Gay people being together, enjoying life together, STR8 people have over a 50% divorce rate.
This Maggie, person is ignorant.
The group that wants to prevent gays from getting married has the burden of proof in establishing why this should be so. What always puzzles me is why do they care so badly what other people are doing. These busy-bodies seem like meddling neighbors always looking to get in everyone else's business to fulfill their empty angry lives.
If the two panelists opposing same-sex marriage are making the best arguments their side has to offer then this "debate" is not worthy of the National Constitution Center's attention. It's pure tautology and the idea being repeated as proving itself is itself a lie. Tedious (and snarky, in the case of Ms. Gallagher) nonsense!
One Star rating.
This "debate" is totally biased and the moderator is essentially furniture.
Teleology is constantly invoked as an argument and only weakly addressed one time. Teleology: Marriage is "for" kids. No it's not. That is a laughably weak argument, has been refuted...let's move on without invoking yet again the refuted weak argument.
The theocrats are allowed to repeatedly blowhard endlessly and the black fellow isn't allowed to have his say at all.
(And no, I'm not gay, not liberal and nor am I black).
This "debate" was truly pathetic IMO, largely because it was so poorly/weakly moderated.
Ms Gallagher and Mr Stanton, again and again, responded to the moderator's questions with" "marriage has always been the union of a man and a woman." Circular and illogical, if not down right pathetic.
No serious discussion of divorce and it's impact on the institution of marriage and children. Gay can't be blamed for divorce, or illegitimacy.
When that failed, they both ended on a note of fear, as Mr Boykin observed. They want to now play the role of a helpless, hopeless and powerless, persecuted minority because of their religious beliefs. This destroyed any credibility they had left.
Mr Stanton's worse fear is that people will stop having children - married or not! He's out of touch with reality. Churches thrive on growing, young, populations that are poorly educated and socially disadvantaged. The antithesis of lawful (Constitutional) stable developed societies.