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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  March 30, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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>> it was a big movement in the 70s coming out of this controversy. and then prove that it went away. it just went back in the 80s and everyone kind of forgot about that. so here we are again.
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definitely the people have the right idea. yes? >> i wondered if you address the issue as you are talking about right now, the globalization of food, especially from china and that sort of thing. i wondered if you could talk about this. >> the means to coming from china and other things? >> yes, and the massive multinational corporations. a lot of those companies that have grown from just being red white and blue to having a lot of process and influence on ingredients the book on
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vitamins, in the chapter about this, most people never even think about this issue. they come from very strange things. 50% of all vitamins come from china. artificial sweeteners are made in china. their regulations for workers and their a lot of food corporations now. if you are a binational and a type of person, you look at
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their income statements, you will see that a lot of the revenues our growth revenues. particularly developing markets. india and china are the big ones. and so they were exporting this through to other countries. changing their diet the way that our diet changes. starting about a hundred years ago. >> he made suggestions about what we can do better in your book. >> yes, it is kind of the stuff that has lower ingredients. it is one easy answer.
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and the simple advice when you go to the grocery store, most of the fresh food is around the perimeter. and then think a little bit about solutions. trying to do more cooking at home. the food industry has this whole history and pattern of cooking. all you need to do is open up the microwave and heat up your dinner. it is really not that complicated. a lot of people are busy, but everyone has the time for simple and easy solutions even for doing one meal at home a week additional. >> [inaudible]
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>> have you done any research on the different methods between frying and baking and microwaving? i have heard that the microwave destroys the nutrients in that kind of thing in the food? >> is the extent of how you cook at high temperatures. higher than what you would use at home. but i am not a big fan of microwaves, there is not a lot of good science showing that it's really horrible or they are worse for the nutrients than just regular home cooking. so it is the level of heat that you can cook it, lower heat is better for food in terms of nutrition. also for the length of time as well. >> thank you so much for your
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time and your questions. [applause] >> for more information, visit the author's website, melanie >> coming up next, booktv presents "after words." an hour-long program where we invite hosts to interview authors. co-authors john corvino entry into a debate each other as they discuss their book, "debating same-sex marriage." the gay-rights advocate and conservative columnist uncover how they differ and why as they provide a roadmap of one of the country's most volatile and ongoing debates. >> we have debated same-sex marriage a few times across
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america. now we are here with a hot off the press book, "debating same-sex marriage." maybe you could share what is your best three-minute case for gay marriage? >> i think relationships are good for people, marriage is good for relationships. we all want to live happily ever after. there is also something about coming home and i to share. relationships make us better people. i'm a better person also because
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marriage ties us to our families in a certain way. you know, it is so important to be tied to your family and sustaining the family life that we have. we can talk more about this. one of the reasons we see a shift over the last 15 years in favor of same-sex marriage and the country is about evenly divided on this, at least in the polls, between 1996 when gallup started looking at this and 60% of people were against same-sex marriage and 26% in favor, and then now it's 53% in favor and now 50% favor. there has been a real shift.
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people increasingly recognized. every time that we have four elections coming up. >> every time we have elections, like in minnesota and maryland, then the legislature passes or they be delayed or defend the legislature's decision. in minnesota, they are voting on an amendment. one woman who is going to be passing similar legislation, for the first time, they are actually trying to pass gay marriage there. so will be an interesting thing for those of us. up until this year, gay marriage
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number one in an open vote. so this is a real question. given this simple case for gay marriage, what you think it hasn't yet -- why are there so many people who are really not on board with this? >> i think it is a fair question, although i don't think it's a theme. maybe you think it is trendy. >> i thought he said it was a trend? [laughter] >> i did not mean it that way. i think that people are afraid of the unknown. i think that frankly your side has been better at mobilizing people politically than my site has. a lot of that has to do with people being mobilized and in churches on sunday. their pastor is thing you need
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to go out and protect marriage and they are feeling unsettled about it, marriage has been in trouble in this country in recent decades in certain ways. i think that case can be overstated. but i also think that one of the reasons that this book works and we are able to meet somewhere even though we disagree sharply, we are able to talk to each other and understand each other better than some because we agree that marriage is important. people fear about marriage deteriorating. they say this is a further threat. the natural inclination is to say no. i think that is waning. people realize that this is not a zero-sum game. we can give marriage to them without taking away from our having it deteriorate for others.
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i am hopeful that in the fall, at least one of those states or several of those states will actually reverse the election trend. and that we may win. but we will see. >> when i asked you why people disagree with you, and there are still very substantial numbers, in north carolina just this year -- >> yes, there was a republican primary going on. we could do a political analysis. >> at the polling was not lining up. >> yes, that is correct. >> again, this is a real question. you think the reason i have spent the last 10 years debating this is because i am afraid of the unknown? >> i would not dare try to speak
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for you and your motivations for why you are doing it. but it could be interesting for you to talk about why you do this. >> let me just talk about this here. this happens a lot. particularly for people who have a traditional and good understanding of things. you are somewhere in the middle, right? >> yes, we all sumpter something. okay. >> i have been struck by how often. the only way people can understand why people disagree with them, is to revel in prejudice and fear. even president obama says this as well. for those of us that are on the side of the spectrum, do you
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really think that there isn't a basis to the disagreement? given it could be eligible, maybe they are not as involved in the particulars, is there a core to this disagreement which is not rooted in fear, but something else? >> okay, one of the reasons i wanted to do this but here, i thought you were a great person to do this with. i thought so because i wanted one of the best people on the other side to lay out the argument step-by-step. you do that in the book and each of us has a rebuttal. and i don't think the arguments work. you don't think mine were. i don't think yours work. if i don't think the argument works, then i need another explanation as to why a smart and thoughtful person like
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maggie gallagher reaches the wrong conclusion on this issue. just as i imagine the you would want to know. you would need some explanation as to why, is on making bad and logical mistakes or is he missing something? perhaps it is oversimplifying it in terms of fear. but i do think that all this come of us come to the debate with certain blind spots. one of the things that i think is very valuable about your segment of the book is that i think you draw attention to something that people on my side often miss. which is that people on your side really want to preserve a special understanding of marriage and his mother father of you. that we may have moved away from that in society. in many ways we have moved away from not in our understanding of what a relationsrelations hip
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needs to be in order to qualify as a marriage. one of the reasons we have moved away from laws requiring confirmation and if it is contested later, we have moved away from it. so i am not a psychologist. i am a philosopher. as a philosopher, i can analyze the arguments and try to show what i think the arguments go wrong. >> i did not mean to put you on the spot. >> would he think the people on my side are missing? >> it is not hard for me to understand why people are thinking about this and it is a question of how he will treat friends and family members for gay marriage. i think it has become a symbol for many people, even many people who are probably not even going to enter gay marriage. it has become a symbol of the
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idea of respect for gay people and their relationships. >> sometimes when you say them all, no people on my side think the were being dismissive. but symbols are important. >> yes, they are. >> but we both understand. >> you know, if you come at it from a cultural perspective, symbols are the sacred objects by which we constitute realities. there are people on my side, the conservative side that say, it is just a symbol. i don't know if i necessarily agree that that is real in how we will understand marriage moving forward. unless you're dealing with illegal incidents of marriage. i do think we have a weekend
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marriage structure. but the symbolic content of marriage is, in fact, it is the most important part of how marriage actually influences the way people act and behave. >> can i ask you more about this remark because you recognize that about half the country -- >> i don't think it's really half the country, but it's a big chunk. >> okay, they can all be gay people. okay. so we want to acknowledge our relationships -- we want to acknowledge them as a family unit. how we understand them to be. how do we do that is not my
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marriage? how do we satisfy this human need, not only for people to commit themselves to each other, but also to acknowledge when our fellow citizens have done this. >> you know, there have been a lot of proposals for coming up with different relationship structures. they have been mostly rejected by activists at this point. >> what do you think? >> well, i think that some of these things have the basic rights that need to be protected, particularly like seeing your love ones in the hospital. i don't think that all relationships are marriages. i think that most adult relationships do not require
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certain things. the law regulates commercial relationships and it touches the family mostly through dependency relationships. so marriage is a great exception. it is not the normal way but it matters. the way we stay relationships is important, it's not too say that this is the case all the time. >> but there are things where the law comes into play. you could understand why this becomes very important. >> i think it becomes important to some people. but the other thing is this is so important as a practical matter. why is it when gay marriages available, it is a small minority of gay people entering a relationship? >> i think that is a complicated question.
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i can speak from my own experience. i live in michigan where i am not permitted to marry. i am constitutionally prohibit to have marriage or any other purpose for the language of our amendment. mark and i have talked about getting married, stay in new york. but, there are complications in terms of -- depending on what state you will end up living in. >> okay. >> for a number of years now, places like canada or the netherlands,. >> i think that is partly because couples have already come together with limited legal structures that they can. so we have this very expensive binder home and people have done that. there are questions about how
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that gets talked about. so a marriage takes time to build. when i started working on this issue back in the '90s, marriage was not exactly on the radar. my friends were working on this. it was in part because we were fighting to make it legal for us to have intimate relationships in many states. you know, we can joke about that. and i think, okay, we are not going to enforce this law. etc. but for friends of mine who are going into law enforcement or education or the military, things like that, the thought was that was huge.
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>> so it takes time, i think. it takes time to make this part of the culture. not just in terms of the legal incidents, but parents and grandparents saying things like, when he going to get married and when will you make it official that takes time to build. it is something that is worth building. >> one of the things i remember thinking about, and you can talk about it better than i can, obviously, how the fight for gay marriage has changed the culture in which we live internally. so the debate about this is somewhat theoretical. but it strikes me that the prominence of it has men like yourself who are fairly traditional interview of relationships, to a much more
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prominent level then you have within their own communities. how has that played out? >> well, if i understand the question, -- >> the culture, there was something about that, we were at the same time overlapping in regards to that. and this is something that occurred to me. i don't know how the proportion of gay men want to be in this marriage like relationship or they want to make it legal or not. >> i think one of the reasons it has caught on is because we recognize that people are doing this. they are appearing off and
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settling down and having domestic lives together. whereas -- i often have sought it from an academic angle. there are some clear academics who say that this is, you know, cope co-opting us into this patriarchal institution, it is restricting us and etc. but this is a lot of things that people wanted. they wanted to settle down and they want a house with a white picket fence and so on. so i think it wasn't so much that all of them argued for this and everyone were convinced and caught on. i think they were responding to something that was a real desire within the community. and it corresponds to universal desire for companionship for intimacy and love. >> what you think is different?
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you talk about the groundwork. so what have you observed, and honestly have relatives and family. how do you think they are different? >> how i think that opposite sects and same-sex is? >> well, like the gender divide. >> i think that the fact that these relationships can create new life is just something that you have talked about in the book, this is something that i had knowledge in the book. but any relationship which has the capacity for doing that, that makes the relationship have tremendous possibility and risk. and so that is relevant. i also think it is relevant that bridging certain gender differences, whether those are
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biological, cultural, complicated commendation of the two, which is probably the right way to look at it. i think that that can create many challenges. i also think that there are challenges for same-sex relationships that don't get acknowledged very often. the fact that so many of us, at least in my generation. i hope this is changing. although sometimes we hear that it has not completely change. so many of us have struggled to come out in the face of this, this can have lasting emotional scars. and it makes us sound weak at times. so don't think that that affects me in anyway. but i came from a time and was in a context when many people
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believed that acting on those feelings was going to send me straight to hell. there are plenty of people that still believe that, and i can do a lot of damage. >> yes. >> the fact that we have that shared experience and a insensitivity is one of the differences. we have had to fight much harder to acknowledge that it is legitimate. and we still have to go through this. if i'm coming to an event like this and someone says, okay, and you say, i have to make a decision. which at this point, it is an easy decision. okay, let me tell you about this. >> exactly. so you still occasionaoccasiona lly need to sit next person who will give you one of those, you know, double cakes and they will say, you are one of those.
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and that is a different. >> that is definitely true. you know, i am an orthodox roman catholic so i don't believe that anyone goes to hell. but by no means is it right. >> okay, sure. >> what i want to do after the break, i want to let you take the lead in interviewing me. >> okay. >> i want to get to the specifics. is the only book in the history of the world that ever has been and ever will be endorsed in this way. so we talk a lot about civil debate. i think a lot of gay men really do feel about people who have this point of view.
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so, we have john coby know who should get a medal for the work he has done, gauging responses in the face of bad and sometimes infuriating arguments. so you are very good. you have obviously chosen to engage in relationships with people who you profoundly disagree. >> okay. i mean, i understand. you're kind and intelligent. you can easily sway the voters. >> thank you. >> and rather good-looking as well. >> that's got some nice. >> how do you explain other
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people who think that was an insult to them to sit around and be civil to people who have these views, be having the symbol for these people and there will be other people watching this story. how can this guy be nice to someone like me who's doing such awful things. >> what do you say about that? >> well, dan is going to be inviting brian brown. he's going to invite him to dinner at his house. and he did so specifically. so he said, just come over to my house for dinner with me and my partner and our son, tj. >> and some cameras. >> yes. and mark who is going to be interviewing us. in part because i think that he
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can be very sharp tongue at times. and that is in some ways part of his charm. i also think he understands the importance of reaching across the divide because he comes from a family. when you are in a family with a diverse group of people, some of whose sharply disagree with you on very important things. i have loved family members with whom i disagree on deeply important things. so i think if people think hard about it, they will be able to find something in their lives that fit that description. breaking out in a timely and thoughtful ways not that difficult. in part because of our shared commitment to elevating the dialogue on us, which is why did the book together. one thing that i understand is
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that this doesn't always line up with the societal expectation. but people expect me to respond to women sexually and i do not. just because people think that i will sit down and want to tear my hair out because i am sitting next to the national organization for marriage way, we hit it off and we get along. i think that can be an occasion for something very valuable. >> yes, i think it is a gift and a habit. we live in a polarized culture where we enjoy not hating each other, but maybe ragging on each other. and it seems like there are increasingly small spaces for any kind of relationship. but i think about this a lot. i think about how different is with abortion at this point. you know my family members
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believe different things about that. if you don't stay in relationship, you say that i believe in murder, how could you do this. so if you want to be in a relationship, you should say, i understand that she cares about that issue and i don't really see it that way. but she's not doing it to be mean to me. she is trying to stand up for what she thinks is right. so there is an emotional thing that goes on. but when you want to stay in a relationship versus when you don't, you just want to have the other person be in the outer portions of your life and there are the bad people here in the good people here. i know you come from a catholic background and are an atheist now, but one of the things that i have talked about is the sense that we are all sinners in it together i once told andy
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sullivan that we should talk it over. and he said that means you think i will go to heaven eventually. [laughter] and he said i hope so. but it seems very rare now and sometimes it seems like this is invading things. >> you think it's more of what we see in the media that reflects the kind of star provisions? >> i think it's in the public culture. i watch focus groups from a couple of years ago and there was an evangelical woman and they were working really hard to try to figure out a way where everyone can be okay. it was very moving to watch them in the same room. i think that is a great part of america. we have to go to a break, but we will be right back to continue this conversation. >> thank you.
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>> "after words" is available through itunes and xml. visit and click on podcasts on the upper left side of the page. select which ones you'd like to download and listen to us while you travel. >> we are debating same-sex marriage, i promise you that i started off thing that this is on unusual situation for the show. we are coauthors and interviewing each other. so let me turn it over to you and what burning questions do you have for me that you really want to know. >> okay, let's talk about something. i'm going to read a paragraph from my section. this is from my opening chapter. and i am describing a same-sex wedding scene. okay so i noticed that these two are sweating.
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this is probably less anxiety than from the heat. the church that is having this take place is sweating. the mothers in formal dresses and the fathers in suits. many in the congregation are fanning themselves with their programs. along the aisle there are floral arrangements tide of the pews with ribbon. everyone is smiling. were not for the absence of a bribe from you have a hard time distinguishing these from any other wedding. your rebuttal, you said that the last line, that it was the one of everything that i wrote comment i wrote a lot of pages in here. that stuck out and really got you. i would like you to talk about it. >> yes ,-com,-com ma you take the woman out of the wedding and you perceive none. except for that, it is just the same. but the union of male and female. what makes this, i think.
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even people that have no religion, they can sense a quasi- sacredness. it is the intimate connection between marriage and the link between the generation. the grounding of our own being is being reenacted in from us. i have a lot of emotion around it because i have been thinking about this. i think this is part of the sexual revolution and i am a child of the sexual revolution and i graduated from yale in 1982. i was a pro-life atheist at the time. and one of the really big lies is that the relationship, this act makes me alive. that women bear this within our
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bodies, but it's a great gift, but it's also a great portability. in the 80s it was orthodox feminism. so then i do think that before we can see same-sex unions as marriage, we are making the decision about how seriously we are going to treat this phenomenon. when men and women talk about this. three quarters are often unintended by their parents. okay. on the one hand, this is a problem, children are hurt because children lose their fathers and it's very costly to
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be an unmarried mother. so it's very difficult. so the question is, on the one hand is that many advocate and they wanted a woman only to be a question, whether we think about the people and how do we show respect. we are making a decision about whether we will institutionalize some of the worst features in this revolution, including how we live in a culture that represses our awareness of what we should be elevating. which is the relationships between men and women that are freighted with this possibility. men and women are the kinds of people who are shaped by this reality in ways that we do not know. and there's is one institution, not only in this culture, but all cultures, are designed to manage this reality and
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elevated. so then it becomes this sacred ground work in the way in which we carry society forward. i do not think he that you will be able to strengthen or sustain that when you have institutionalize this coming from the idea not only of gay marriage, but of marriage equality. there isn't any important moral difference. but clinging to that principle, even if it's not what one you personally hold, it is what you are seeing that his overarching. okay. so how are these things related. well, it is a rejection immediately because that conflicts with the norm that we are trying to embody.
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so you take a woman out of the wedding and act as if nothing has been lost. >> reason i wrote that line was one of the readers said you need to talk about this marriage. >> you are right. >> okay. so i get the fact that you want people to take seriously the loss of responsibility of this. you won't mothers and fathers stick around and provide loving homes. i get that. we have talked about that. i think what it means is that we deserve equal treatment under law. i think you and i would both acknowledge, and i will let you speak for yourself on a, but
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this would be bad for them to be bribed. for these men who are gay men. >> it would certainly be a and challenging marriage. >> yes, it would have to be done openly and honestly. >> right. >> so if you have this guy -- >> i think it would be very high risk. >> or not the cable? >> well, not off the table. there is a mixed orientation marriage at times. part of this was deciding who has this particular theology towards marriage that is extremely strong.
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so for him, i actually knew a man who decided to be an orthodox jew who did not marry. but he had the same experience. it is a decision that your religious identity is more important than the identity-based on the expression of your desire. so it strikes me as particularly difficult and challenging. but it is made in good faith and honesty. >> okay. i am a pro-freedom kind of guy. i want people to be able to pursue openly and honestly the kinds of relationships that they decide are suitable to them. >> okay. >> suppose that is just not an
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option. but yet they found each other and they find that their lives are enriched and they find they make each other better people. i know i said that earlier, but i do think that is an important part of the relationship. >> so one of the things that is lovely is unlike marriage advocates at times, there is a rather rich portrait of marriage but being more about romantic love, i think this is actually part of what we share. >> i think part of why it is important is that it keeps people together in commitment for the long haul. even as the romantic excitement waxes and wanes.
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you know, this person will rule over in the morning and we get to do all this exciting stuff, and you know, you get to deal with morning breath. [laughter] >> they are excited. but the romantic excitement, it can wax and wane over the course of years, there is something enduring and challenging. so they find each other, they find that they are good for each other, they want to pursue that further, they want to include their families in that. so how do they do that? you know? view object to their having what looks like a wedding except for a bride? view object to the family and friends stand behind them? >> well ,-com,-com ma you're
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putting me in charge of issuing the orders to people i don't know in a way that, you know, i'm not comfortable with that. i don't think they're looking to tell me what to do. if it were my own son, i think that caretaking and commitment are always valuable than they always mean something. i respond to that and i can acknowledge the way that they put together the world and doing something that they think is good and to be celebrated. so i can respond to a lot of that. but for me, having my son commit to living in a gay relationship for the rest of his life would not be something that would be easy for me to celebrate. we would be in disagreement and
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we'd have to figure out how to love each other across specific disagreements. and so i think that that is, you know, it is more intense and challenging. but it is a challenge about how we live and love. especially across important distance of. >> okay, i wasn't asking you because i was looking for advice exactly. but because society, i mean, regardless of whether you believe the polling support is as strong as it says it is, there is a lot of support. and people want to respect the choice that some people are making to settle down and set up house and commit to each other in that way. i'm asking you is not to run the
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world. >> i definitely do not run the world. [laughter] >> what would there be room for people like that? >> i think there would be ways to structure domestic partnership that could be celebrated in families and communities in different ways. one thing i feel strongly about is gay people would not be afraid in my perfect world. you know, i think that i would -- you know, on the groundwork of respect for things, we have a lot of differences, but we have a lot in common as well. we recognize each other as human beings and we agree to disagree. and those who believe in what they believe in build
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communities and feel free to do that and be respected members of america. that would be my ideal world. >> so you think it could become marriage by some other name? >> the problem with civil unions, i am aware that they are taking a strong position. for me, the question is is this tradition good. or is it discriminatory. i think it is frustrating to gay people. but sometimes i do, but my plan for what we could do. but i don't think it's all that relevant. because if i could really win the marriage debate in a cultural sense, to win the idea that this is the union of a husband and husband-and-wife and we need to strengthen the
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connection between this rather than trying to add in more relationships that seem to contradict this model is what it is, at that point there would be a question of a small minority of people, they have social needs, how do we need them? but i knew it would not work. it is about a fundamental world principle so unions are not always as significant or sacred as in a way of being homophobic.
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so it is something distinctive, important, necessary about this kind of union. walk to people outside of it, they are not married necessarily. this thing is really important. >> you know, i have to say that i have been proved right in this. but the position that david took, it has to do with homosexual love in full civil unions, but it did not protect them from one iota on the idea that they were testifying in a state that had civil unions and it was only about the definition of marriage.
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and especially whether we can retain any understanding, which i have embodied in the public institution. >> earlier you mentioned that you were a devout roman catholic. >> i don't like to give myself that much credit. an unorthodox one. >> okay, nonorthodox roman catholic. a lot of people assume that your are given is god says no. but you don't make that argument. but can you talk about how your religious views inform what you do in the book? >> i think that it works in reverse. i came to a certain understanding about life and sects and marriage.
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i came to believe that it has to be wrong to engage in a sexual relationship if you are not in a position to have my own father raising him. that means it is not okay. about 35% of americans hold that view. that stems from i believe that i had never heard a good argument for developing applications. you get something very close to this. it was a fairly small step for me to go. >> okay, so the understanding of sex and relationships and marriage. >> that's right. it's not so much about this, but
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i went back to the church in my late 20s. it was the only institution that seem to be standing. so you don't pass on moral understandings alone. those are the two strongest motivations. one of the reasons that i think it is only religious people who are publicly standing against them sex marriage, it is not because these are so theologically rooted -- because you have to, you know, you have
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an enormous amount of criticism that is directed against you if you oppose same-sex marriage. and you really need a feeling that you are standing with someone and for someone and religious people have a stronger motivation i do think it is why religious -- the public opposition white is shrinking. and it often helps those who have a strong religious motivation for working this out. then they all come together to love. >> right. there are married couples that cannot procreate. we are talking about this a little bit in the book. there was a couple that was married in their 70s that were both widowed. we allow this.
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when we support marriage in a case? >> like think from a legal standpoint, every union of male and female -- >> i am still struggling with understanding this from the book. >> every time a man and woman commit to being in a faithful sexual makinen, union, it is pae core of marriage. if it is not intended to be faithful, it is not marital in the public imagination. >> okay. so because, you know, so it is a way of regulating sexuality for men and women so that we end up in relationships where we do not
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hurt each other and we don't hurt our actual children or potential children. if you look at this history, this is expressed over and over again. it has been somewhat covered up. if we didn't have these regulations, the fact that sex makes babies and we used to talk about regulating -- it's an unattractive term. think you need to create and order and marriage is a pattern for creating that order. and therefore if you don't,. >> is the reason the marriage is good for children largely because marriage is about committing to someone for keeps? that is the idea that when he joined together in this union,
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you are there for each other exclusively for life and that the reason that this protects children is because they can count on having now. >> this is a very rich and complicated subject that we know. it is not marriage that protects children. because children with mothers who remarry, they don't do any better on average than those who are not. >> that's right. ..


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